For the third year in a row, the presence of North Atlantic right whales has prompted the temporary closure of the Roseway Basin in southwestern Nova Scotia.
“This is the first time this season North Atlantic right whales have been detected and temporary closures triggered in Roseway Basin. Similar detections and closures have occurred in Roseway Basin in 2018 and 2019,” said Barre Campbell, DFO media relations.
The Roseway Basin temporary closure came on Sept. 14, bring a halt to fishing activity for some commercial fishermen. According to DFO’s online whale map, as of Sept. 28, three visual right whale sightings had been made in the Roseway Basin.
Since the end of April to mid-September, North Atlantic right whales have been visually detected on 994 occasions representing over 110 individual right whales in Canadian waters and acoustically detected on 962 occasions, said Campbell.
As of mid-September, there have been no North Atlantic right whale entanglements or deaths reported in Canadian waters in 2020.
In collaboration with other government departments and non-governmental organizations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada monitors North Atlantic right whales to better understand how many there are and where they are in our waters, said Campbell. “This information informs the measures we take to protect this endangered species.”
Aerial surveillance is the primary means for detecting right whales in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. At-sea surveillance and acoustic technology using both archival and near real-time acoustic recorders are also utilized.
Confirmed visual or acoustic detections of right whales trigger the 2020 North Atlantic right whales management measures.