Marine Atlantic ferries are on watch for endangered right whales


Nautical Atlantic is getting ready to take action if a significant number of imperilled right whales are spotted in the Cabot Strait.

Spokesperson Darrell Mercer bid Marine Atlantic has received confirmation that the right whales suffer with left their wintering area off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., and are assumed to move through the Cabot Strait to the Gulf of St. Lawrence over the next few weeks.

The Determined of Fisheries and Oceans said Tuesday a right whale was spotted off the coastline of eastern Cape Breton during an aerial survey.

Marine Atlantic’s number one of fleet operations met with staff from Transport Canada and DFO Tuesday.

«They’ve admonished us that, as the Cabot Strait is more of a transit zone for the whales, they are numberless or less moving to their feeding grounds,» said Mercer. «At this stage-manage, we have been told to exercise caution, and of course we have people on examine constantly trying to see if there are any whales in the area.

«If we see any right whales … we announce those immediately to the federal government so that they may take additional spreads,» he said.

Marine Atlantic ferries are on watch for endangered right whales

Marine Atlantic has personnel on the bridge to watch for small vessel. For the next few weeks they will also be looking for right whales. (Pelagic Atlantic)

Those measures could include reducing the speed of Naval Atlantic ferries to 10 knots from the normal 14 to 16 clusters. If that happens, customers will be warned about the slower rub out time and the impact on schedules, said Mercer.

«If we need to move in that guidance to protect the whales, we will certainly do that.»

Marine Atlantic was changed to take the same steps last fall during the whales’ migration south, but aerial size ups determined the whales had migrated without any long-term presence in the Cabot Limited, so there wasn’t any need to reduce speeds, Mercer said.

In the last year, at least 18 North Atlantic right whales pull someones leg been found dead off the coast of the U.S. and Canada. Scientists believe anthropoid activity, including shipping and fishing, are the primary cause of the deaths.

Sea Atlantic will continue to have weekly meetings with DFO and Bliss Canada as long as the whales are migrating through the Cabot Strait.

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