Subject: ECE/DFO Right Whale Surveys in Canadian waters
East Coast Ecosystems is contracted by the Canadian Government's
Department of Fisheries and Oceans to monitor right whales in Canadian
waters during the 2000 season. There are both vessel and aerial
components to the program:
Vessel: 15 vessel survey days during the months of June, July, October
Aerial: A plane will be in position in Nova Scotia during the final
three weeks of August. Areas to be surveyed include the Bay of Fundy and
selected offshore areas such as Roseway Basin. Aerial support will also
be provided for the NMFS satellite tagging program and for any
disentanglement events taking place at that time.
So far, four vessel surveys of the Bay of Fundy have been concluded.
Only one right whale was sighted, although 4 or so animals have been
seen by whale watch companies.
Generally, the survey area starts at 4430'N/6630'W with north/south
track lines reaching a northernmost latitude of 4440. We do, on
occasion begin the survey further to the west (6635'W) and extend the
lines to the north.
June 10: covered 4 track lines, sea state 1, vis 1 - 17 harbour
porpoises, no other cetaceans.
June 12: covered 4 track lines, sea state 1, vis 1 - 1 fin whale, 3
minke whales, 31 harbour porpoises.
June 21, covered 4 track lines, sea state 1-2, vis 1 - 4 fin whales, one
minke whale, 16 harbour porpoises, 1 basking shark, 1 right whale.
The right whale was sighted at 4437'N/6631'W. It was not possible to
photograph the whale, as it was surrounded by fixed (lobster) gear.
June 29, covered 4 track lines, sea state 0-2, vis 1 - 37 harbour
porpoises, 3 minke whales, 1 fin whale.
Further reports will follow,
East Coast Ecosystems
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