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Right whale sighting leads to closure of lobster fishing area off northeastern N.B.

MISCOU, N.B. — The federal fisheries minister says she is “urgently” convening a meeting today with the lobster industry after the government closed a fishing area off northeastern New Brunswick at the height of the season.

Diane Lebouthillier says the closure was necessary because an endangered North Atlantic right whale was spotted Friday in shallow waters about four kilometres off the coast, east of Miscou Island.

Lebouthillier says her department immediately instituted a 15-day temporary fishing closure in the lobster fishing area known as LFA 23C.

The closure is to run until May 31, and if the animal isn’t detected again the area would then reopen.

Lebouthillier says her department acknowledges that the closure is a significant blow to coastal communities and to fishers, but she adds that it’s important to protect the whale species.

The minister says co-operation is needed to prevent whale entanglements with fishing gear and to ensure that Canada’s seafood products continue to be recognized as sustainable.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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