Government closes more fishing zones after right whale sighting

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed portions of four fishery grids after right whales were spotted.

Closures will come into effect on Friday

Portions of four more fishing zones will close Friday because a North Atlantic right whale was seen in the area. (Center for Coastal Studies/NOAA permit #19315/AP)

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed portions of four fishery grids after right whales were spotted in the area.

The affected grids are in the extreme south of the speed reduction zone and will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The closure marks the 20th fishery closure this year related to the North Atlantic right whale.

No right whales have been found dead in Canadian waters since last year but a right whale was spotted last week off Miscou Island partially entangled.

It has not been spotted since.

(Department of Fisheries and Oceans)

The closure affects the following areas located between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island;

  • HC36 (portion)
  • HC37
  • HD36 (portion)
  • HD37 (portion)

The fisheries affected include any of the following that are open:

  • Snow crab
  • Toad crab
  • Rock crab
  • Lobster
  • Whelk
  • Greenland halibut (fixed gear)
  • Winter flounder (fixed gear)

All fishing gear must be removed from the area before the closure begins.

Last year was an especially deadly year for the right whales, so the federal government introduced some restrictions on fishing and ship speeds in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.