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Funding for crab fishery projects to help protect North Atlantic right whale

Press Release

May 21, 2019

SHIPPAGAN (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments are together investing more than $2 million over three years to implement projects designed to mitigate risks to the North Atlantic right whale from entanglements in snow crab fishing gear.

L’Association des crabiers acadiens Inc. will use the funding to research, test and carry out sea trials with such technologies as breakaway gear and rope-less buoys. Hydrophones will also be used to assist in tracking whales. Examples of the equipment were on display at today’s announcement.

The funding comes from the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, which is financed by both federal and provincial governments and aims to increase opportunities and market value for sustainably sourced, high-quality fish and seafood products from Atlantic Canada.

“It is imperative to balance preservation of this endangered species with the social, cultural and economic importance of the snow crab fishery in this region,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Robert Gauvin. “Many families and communities depend on the snow crab fishery for employment. Co-existence with minimal impact to the North Atlantic right whale population must be achieved.”

Gauvin spoke on behalf of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Ross Wetmore.

“This funding is great news for the fishing industry and our coastal communities,” said Acadie-Bathurst MP Serge Cormier. “This project will help identify new fishing technologies to maintain an active fishing industry while reducing the risk of whale entanglements with fishing gear. It is imperative to be able to adapt to change to ensure the healthy sustainability of our industry, respect for our marine environment and also to protect the jobs generated by the fishing industry.”

Cormier attended for federal Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

Established in 2017, the Atlantic Fisheries Fund will continue to invest in projects during its seven-year lifespan. Applications are accepted from the commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities and academia, and industry associations and organizations, including research institutions.

Media Contact(s)

Jean Bertin, communications, Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, 506-444-5298,



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