DAILY ONLINE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

CLICK "ONLINE NEWS TODAY" IN THE MENU BAR ABOVE TO GET THE LATEST IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING ARTICLES, IMAGES AND VIDEOS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Right whale feeding areas declared critical habitat






























Get the photos and subscribe at http://fundywhale.blogspot.com.


Martin Mittelstaedt Environment Reporter

From Thursday's Globe and Mail,

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/

1 comment:

  1. Whale Experts Respond in the Telegraph Journal:
    Right whale measures 'critical step' for recovery. Published Monday June 22nd, 2009

    Environment Marine experts welcome new protection but say more needs to be done

    Marine experts are welcoming new federal measures designed to protect the endangered right whale, but they say much more needs to be done.

    Two new areas that teem with endangered North Atlantic right whales have been given special protections against container traffic.

    The federal government has added two right whale feeding areas to the Species at Risk Act as part of on-going efforts to preserve and expand the fragile population of North Atlantic right whales.

    Laurie Murison, executive director of the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station, said the addition of the Grand Manan Basin in the Bay of Fundy and the Roseway Basin off Nova Scotia is a critical step.

    But she said it's the long trek the whales take each year to get into those feeding zones that is now the issue.

    "The definition of critical habitats has been worked on quite a bit, but the actual movements of the whales have yet to be incorporated in some way," Murison said.

    "The unnerving thing about drawing boxes on a chart is that people then assume that is the only place these animals are going to be."

    The newly designated areas are where right whales feed on plankton after spending the winter off the southern United States.

    Although there was a record number of right whale calves born in winter nursery waters this year, the population still sits at approximately 400 mammals.

    The new measures mean Ottawa is obligated to legally protect the feeding grounds from activities that might harm right whales or disturb their food supply.

    More at: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/706566

    ReplyDelete