CAN - Nova Scotia First Nation Suspends Lobster Fishery After Endangered Whales Spotted

Nova Scotia’s Sipekne’katik First Nation says it will temporarily close its moderate livelihood lobster fishery after endangered North Atlantic right whales were detected off the province’s southwest coast.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Chief Mike Sack says band council took the action “with conservation as our foremost concern.”

Sack says the two-week closure affects fishery activities in the Roseway Basin critical habitat area, as identified by the federal Fisheries Department.

He says the band council is calling on the department and the commercial fishing industry to extend if necessary the stoppage of all activity in the area to ensure the safe feeding and southward migration of the right whales.

Ottawa this week said that starting Thursday evening, fisheries operating within certain sections of the Roseway Basin would close until further notice to protect the whales, which can become entangled in fishing gear.

The department’s temporary closure affects one of the province’s most lucrative lobster fishing zones, known as LFA 34, and comes days before the federally regulated lobster fishing season in the area is set to start.

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