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Ottawa to close fisheries after endangered right whales detected off N.S. coast

A North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., Wednesday, March 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Dwyer

The federal government is ordering fisheries off the southwest coast of Nova Scotia to temporarily close after North American right whales were detected in the area.

Ottawa says starting Thursday evening, fisheries operating within certain sections of the Roseway Basin must close until further notice.

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The closures affect LFA 34 – one of Nova Scotia’s most lucrative lobster fishing zones – and come days before the start to the federally regulated lobster fishing season.

Other fisheries in the affected area include crab, herring and mackerel; groundfish vessels using fixed gear will be prohibited from working in the zone.

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The federal government closed fisheries earlier this month in the Gulf of St. Lawrence after right whales were detected in the area.

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The U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently estimated the North Atlantic right whale population has dropped dramatically, to 366 in 2019 from 412 in 2018.

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