July 11, 2018 3:41 pm
Updated: July 11, 2018 3:55 pm

Fisheries Department says more staff on waters to protect whales in Canada

New rules to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises have come into effect in Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it is in the process of ensuring more officers and patrol vessels are available to enforce them.

(AP Photo/Center for Whale Research, Ken Balcomb)
A A

VANCOUVER – New rules to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises have come into effect in Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it is in the process of ensuring more officers and patrol vessels are available to enforce them.

Adam Burns, director general of fisheries resource management, says the number of officers deployed to keep people and boats away from the marine mammals has yet to be decided.

READ MORE: Fisheries department investigating after traps placed in right whale protection zones


Story continues below

He says extensive consultations with the whale-watching industry indicated support for the regulations in order to keep the animals in areas where tourists flock to see them.

Starting today, people and vessels must maintain a minimum distance of 100 metres from most whales, dolphins and porpoises to protect them from human disturbances.

READ MORE: Fishermen’s union, DFO minister meet over closures meant to protect right whales

People and vessels must keep a minimum of 200 metres away from those marine mammals in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park in Quebec, and the same distance for all killer whale populations in British Columbia.

The Fisheries Department says a distance of at least 400 metres must be maintained from threatened or endangered whales, dolphins and porpoises in the St. Lawrence Estuary, a critical beluga habitat.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.