[MARMAM] New Publication: A timely opportunity to protect North Atlantic right whales in Canada

Tonya Wimmer twimmer at dal.ca
Fri May 19 13:31:37 PDT 2017

Dear MARMAM readers,

My co-authors and I would like to announce our recent publication in Marine Policy:

Brillant, S.W., Wimmer, T., Rangeley, R.W. and C.T. Taggart. 2017. A timely opportunity to protect North Atlantic right whales in Canada.

Marine Policy 81: 160-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.03.030

The survival of federally protected North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) requires an immediate reduction in the risk of entanglement in commercial fishing gear. This paper argues that at least a 30% reduction in risk is needed to meaningfully contribute to the conservation of right whales. The argument follows from risk estimates calculated using time and space intersections of right whales and fishing gear in Canadian waters. Almost all the risk occurs during July, August and September (12%, 50%, 37% respectively) and the groundfish fishery contributed the greatest proportion (86%) of annual risk. Given that efforts in the USA to reduce entanglement risk through modified fishing gear have been unsuccessful to date, we address the alternative option of restricting certain fishing gear at times and locations where entanglement risk is elevated. There are many options that Canada could employ to achieve the above risk reduction and our results clearly point to the most effective and efficient action being seasonally restricted fishing in two relatively small regions; the Grand Manan Basin and the Roseway Basin. Fully a third (34%±4%) of the annual risk is associated with these two basins, though fishery catch estimates in the basins are relatively small and declining.

If you cannot download the publication, you can request a pdf by emailing Sean Brillant: seanb at cwf-fcf.org



PS. Don't forget to register for SMM2017 to be held October 22-27th in Canada's Ocean Playground: Halifax, Nova Scotia! Abstract acceptance notifications will go out June 5th. Follow us on Facebook: Tonya and Hilary plan SMM2017 or Twitter: TnHplanSMM2017!

"From space, the planet is blue. From space, the planet is the
territory, not of humans, but of the whale" - Heathcote Williams
Tonya Wimmer, MSc.
Director, Marine Animal Response Society
Conference Co-Chair, SMM2017

Whitehead Lab

Dalhousie University, Halifax

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