DFO rejects proposed exemptions from temporary closures put into effect to protect right whales

The federal Fisheries Department says it has considered and rejected proposals from two large fishing groups regarding possible exceptions to exclusion zones for fishing when Right Whales come nearby.

The Maritime Fishermen's Union and the Regroupement des Pecheurs professionnels du Sud de la Gaspesie has asked the Department to consider exempting shallow waters from temporary closures.

DFO says the closures in these fishing areas are the most effective way to protect North Atlantic right whales from gear entanglements.

Fishermen had argued the shallow water closures aren't necessary as the endangered whales rarely swim in those areas.