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Martin Mittelstaedt Environment Reporter
From Thursday's Globe and Mail, Thursday, Jun. 18, 2009 03:54AM EDT
The future of one of Canada's most endangered animals, the North Atlantic right whale, has just got a little brighter.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has issued its final recovery strategy for the species, and it designates as critical habitat for the marine mammals both of their main summer feeding grounds in Atlantic Canada, an area at the entrance to the Bay of Fundy, and the Roseway Basin just off the southeastern coast of Nova Scotia.
“These areas are critical to their survival and recovery so to not have had them protected would have been dire,” said Rachel Plotkin, a policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation, an environmental group.
The department issued a draft proposal earlier this year that would have protected only the Bay of Fundy area, but switched its position after new scientific evidence from its own researchers and those at Dalhousie University in Halifax confirmed that the Roseway Basin area was also rich in the main food of the whales, small krill-like creatures called copepods.
Calling the wide parts of the ocean critical habitat opens the way for efforts to ensure protection of the whales there.
Read complete story here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/right-whale-feeding-areas-declared-critical-habitat/article1186150/