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Lobster fishing gear less risky for whales will be authorized in 2024

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec15,2023

Less risky lobster fishing gear for whales will be authorized in 2024

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Lobster fishing gear whose ropes break more easily than those of conventional traps will be authorized in 2024. Above: rescuers attempt to release a right whale into the waters off Massachusetts. (Archive photo)

  • Pierre Philippe LeBlanc (View profile)Pierre Philippe LeBlanc

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Lobster fishermen will have the green light in 2024 to voluntarily use fishing gear that is less risky for whales, announces the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO ).

These devices are equipped with ropes that break more easily than those of traditional traps. This reduces the risk of whale entanglement, according to DFO.

The use of this equipment next year will be voluntary, which pleases Luc LeBlanc, fisheries advisor at the Maritime Fishermen's Union ( UPM).

We were really afraid that we would have it imposed abruptly and brutally in our first year. Here, we are going there gradually. In 2024, it will be optional, underlined Luc LeBlanc during an interview given Friday to the show La matinalefrom ICI Acadie.

Low-resistance fishing gear for lobster fishing.Broadcast ICI PREMIÈRE.Morning.

Low resistance fishing gear for lobster fishing


Listen to the audio (Low resistance fishing gear for lobster fishing. 6 minutes 54 seconds)

We did not impose something on the industry, we really cooperated with the industry to arrive at a solution that works, I think, continued Mr. LeBlanc.

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The UPM does not yet know in which fishing zones this equipment will be authorized. DFO states in a press release that these will be certain lobster fisheries where test results indicate that this gear is as efficient as conventional fishing gear.

Fishermen have been testing this type of equipment on a limited basis for about three years and the results are not unanimous, according to Luc LeBlanc.

The Fishermen fear in particular a risk of cables breaking when they bring the traps back on board their boats.

A rope, when it breaks under tension like that, it can come back in the fisherman's face and cause a fairly serious injury, explained Luc LeBlanc.

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Luc LeBlanc, from the UPM, believes that the equipment in question carries certain risks and benefits. (Archive photo)

Moreover, in such a case, the trap remains at the bottom of the sea and continues to attract lobsters over time .

We really have a concern about the potential of this technology to give us a bigger problem with ghost engines than we had before, said Mr. LeBlanc.

DFO says it ensures that these fishing gear are safe for fishermen, effective in protecting whales and easily accessible to fishermen.

The affordable price of this equipment is, however, advantageous for fishermen, underlined Luc LeBlanc. It is only slightly more [expensive] than normal rope.

The fisheries advisor added that this equipment is easily accessible and usable.< /p>

If it helps, we will certainly move forward, he said.

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Lobster fishing is at the heart of the economy of many coastal communities in the Atlantic. (File photo)

Luc LeBlanc said he believes that the majority of fleet operators will not use this equipment but that there will still be enough volunteers to determine whether or not this will increase ghost fishing in the coming years.

The North Atlantic right whale, in particular, is an endangered species. DFO estimated last June that there were only 336 left worldwide. Authorities temporarily close fishing areas when they are there, among other conservation measures.

  • Pierre Philippe LeBlanc (View profile)Pierre Philippe LeBlancFollow
Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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