Editorial Exchange: Staggered Openings Would Protect Whales, Too

By Pioneer, Summerside Journal | The Canadian Press, May 30, 2018 | Go to article overview

Editorial Exchange: Staggered Openings Would Protect Whales, Too


Pioneer, Summerside Journal, The Canadian Press


Editorial Exchange: Staggered openings would protect whales, too

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An editorial from the Summerside Journal Pioneer, published May 29:

It is both good and essential that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is imposing drastic measures to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales that are teetering on the brink of extinction.

Those whales need to be protected. Mankind owes the species that much.

They were easy prey and they were overfished decades ago and, because of ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, the population never had a chance to recover.

Protective measures impact fisheries and also shipping companies, as container ships must slow down while travelling through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, thereby reducing the risk of colliding with one of those large whales. And time is money.

It becomes collateral damage that those measures are negatively impacting on the livelihoods of East Coast fishermen and shipping companies.

Those measures, however, just might be what are necessary to protect the fishery from financial ruin. If such drastic measures weren't imposed and right whales perished at or near last year's unprecedented rate, then ramifications to the fishing industry would be immense. Seafood from a country that does not take drastic steps to protect the endangered right whales would suddenly seem less appetizing.

The fishing industry, the snow crab industry in particular, has made several gear modifications to reduce the risk of whale entanglements, and DFO is closing areas to fishing activity when whales are known to be present. …

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