P.E.I. lobster fishers could return to deeper waters in LFA area 24 as early as June 2
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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — P.E.I. lobster fishers might return to deep waters within the Gulf of St. Lawrence as early as June 2, if there aren’t any extra sightings of endangered proper whales, an official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada stated Might 26.
Talking on a Zoom assembly with media, Jennifer Buie stated the division will probably be sending two flights over the gulf between from time to time. If there isn’t a proof of whales within the space both time, it should raise restrictions on lobster fishing space 24.
“There should be two clear flights during which no whales are noticed,’’ Buie stated. “These measures are difficult for harvesters however vital.’’
Two proper whales have been noticed off western P.E.I. on Might 18, prompting the federal authorities to shut lobster fishing in space 24 in water deeper than 60 ft.
Chris Wall, who fishes out of Malpeque Harbour, advised SaltWire on Might 23 that of the 30 boats that fish out of that port, 15 have been in deep waters. These boats had till 5 p.m. on Might 23 to maneuver their traps nearer to shore.
Wall stated which means extra fishers in a tighter space.
Brett Gilchrist, additionally with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, stated through the briefing there was a blended response from fishers because the restrictions have been put in place.
“Some fish harvesters are used to a closure. It simply means further work to maneuver their traps, however the reality is we’re seeing them in areas we have now not up to now,’’ Gilchrist stated. “Some harvesters discover it difficult in the event that they haven’t seen closures earlier than. We’ve got to recollect – we solely implement closures the place whales are noticed.’’
Buie stated defending the precise whale in areas the place fishers have the precise to reap is a fragile balancing act.
“We’ve got a authorized obligation to guard them,’’ she stated.
Biologist Simon Nadeau, who additionally took half within the Zoom assembly, stated the waters off Maine are getting hotter so whales are migrating north into Atlantic Canada to feed.
“We’ve been seeing them for the previous 5 years,’’ Nedeau stated. “That’s the assumption, that they’re coming to Canada to feed and discover an enough meals provide.’’
Gilchrist stated there has not been a case of a proper whale entanglement in Atlantic Canada this spring, however there was one final yr. He added there have been three entanglements this spring in U.S. waters that have been linked to Canadian fishers.
Dave Stewart is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DveStewart