Friday, November 27, 2009

New lobster fishing practices to protect right whales

The Vancouver Sun | November 27, 2009

"HALIFAX — Lobster fisherman in southwest Nova Scotia will take new precautions with their traps this fishing season to help protect endangered right whales in the region, says the World Wildlife Fund of Canada.

Fisherman have been working with the WWF to develop this new strategy, whereby they attempt to keep their ropes out of the paths of whales by keeping them low and tight.

"Fishermen developed a plan to change fishing practices in a way that demonstrates leadership, commitment to conservation, and a significant first step towards reducing this threat to the endangered North Atlantic right whale," said Dr. Robert Rangeley, WWF-Canada vice-president for the Atlantic region, in a news release. "It is an exciting example of collaboration and action which we hope provides a positive lesson of the benefits of integrated management for all ocean industries."

North Atlantic right whales are some of the most endangered large whales on the planet, with only 400 left, and can be harmed or killed when they get entangled in fishing gear.

The lobster fishing season officially opens on Monday."

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