Subject: Review of the live capture of marine mammals in Canada (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 12 Jan 1999 10:52:08 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 14:04:45 -0330
From: Jon Lien <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Review of the live capture of marine mammals in Canada

        The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has asked me to
conduct a review of the marine mammal live capture programme in Canada,
and to provide recommendations respecting its relevance to DFO's role in
marine mammal management. Views on marine mammal management, public
interest in this group of animals, DFO's mandate for ocean management, and
technology for the study of wild marine mammals have all developed rapidly
in the last few years. In light of these changes, DFO needs to re-evaluate
the role the live capture and holding programme has in its management

        Live captures of marine mammals are currently possible for
clinical treatment, research, or education, although there has been a ban
on beluga whale captures for export since l992. Initially DFO developed a
live capture programme for belugas in l967 to promote public understanding
and support for the management and conservation of Arctic cetaceans
through education and public awareness. Some permits have been given for
other species for research or clinical purposes. There has been no live
capture of cetaceans in Canada since l992; some seal captures have been

        I would be most happy if you would care to provide your views on
this topic during the consultation process.  I am particularly interested
in information which you could provide which identifies costs and benefits
of such captures. and the animals subsequent captivity. The report will
include specific recommendations on which your input would be very
helpful. These are:

                - the potential benefits of live capture as a fishery for
                - the potential benefits of live capture to the science
                        and management of marine mammals in the wild;
                - the potential benefits of research findings on captive
                        animals as compared to those on wild animals;
                - the educational and awareness benefits of captive marine
                - the standards for captive marine mammals in Canada, and
                        the welfare of captive animals maintained under
                        these standards;
                - the views of public interest groups regarding live
                        capture and captivity;
                - standards required for research use, public education
                        to increase support for conservation and management;
                - the contribution of marine mammals to the attractiveness
                        and viability of aquaria programmes.

        I intend to make submitted written opinions and information part
of my final report as an appendix, with authors permission.  Thus, I would
appreciate it if you would provide a written presentation of your
information.  This can take any form you wish. I would be happy to discuss
your written document with you by phone (709-753-5495), or at tenatively
scheduled consultation meetings in Ottawa (25-26 Jan.), Winnipeg (1-3
Feb.) or Vancouver (8-ll Feb.) More details on the meetings will be
available later; an early expression of interest by those interested in
attending would be appreciated.

        I have been given a deadline of 28 February for a draft report; my
final report must be completed by 31 March. So time is short.

        If you would care to discuss the study with me, or wish
suggestiongs concerning your submission, pleas call, fax (709-737-2450) or
e-mail ( me. I'll look forward to hearing from

        Thanks for your consideration.

Jon Lien
Department of Psychology and Ocean Sciences Centre
Whale Research Group
230 Mount Scio Road
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
AlC 5S7   Canada
Phone  (709) 753-5495 wk.  (709) 895-2068 hm.
Mobil  (709) 685-0710 Fax  (709) 737-2450