Presence of North Atlantic Right Whales-Notice of fishery closures: GU42, GU43, GU44, GV42, GV43, GV44, GV45, GW42, GW43, GW44, GW45, GX43, GX44, and GX45

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) – The Gulf and Quebec Regions provided a notice to announce the temporary closure of fishery areas due to the confirmed presence of more than three North Atlantic Right Whale within a zone situated outside the dynamic management area in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The closure is applied following a grid system (see map below). The following grids will be closed on May 17, 2019 at 05:00 pm Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT):  GU42, GU43, GU44, GV42, GV43, GV44, GV45, GW42, GW43, GW44, GW45, GX43, GX44, and GX45.

The closures will be in effect for the following fisheries where the fishing seasons are currently opened: snow crab, toad crab, rock crab, lobster, whelk, Greenland halibut (fixed gear) and winter flounder (fixed gear). Closures will also be in effect for Atlantic halibut (fixed gear), mackerel (gillnet) and herring (gillnet) when gear is left unattended.

The closures will remain in effect until further notice. In the event that areas are reopened, DFO will inform industry prior to their reopening.

DFO asks licence holders to be vigilant during fishing activities concerning the presence of North Atlantic right whales. Furthermore, please be reminded that it is the responsibility of the licence holder to take into account the marine safety notices issued, amongst others, by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada, as well as the standards and best practices in marine safety, and to take all measures to ensure safe fishing operations.

The coordinates representing the contour of the closure area (grids in red in map 1) are listed below:

Points Positions
Lat. North Long. West

1

48° 40' 0.000" N 62° 40' 0.000" W

2

48° 30' 0.000" N 62° 40' 0.000" W

3

48° 30' 0.000" N 62° 30' 0.000" W

4

48° 0' 0.000" N 62° 30' 0.000" W

5

48° 0' 0.000" N 63° 0' 0.000" W

6

48° 10' 0.000" N 63° 0' 0.000" W

7

48° 10' 0.000" N 63° 10' 0.000" W

8

48° 40' 0.000" N 63° 10' 0.000" W

9

48° 40' 0.000" N 62° 40' 0.000" W

Area enclosed by rhumb lines (similar to straight lines plotted on a nautical chart) joining the points listed above in the order they are listed. Point references are based on the geodesic system North American Datum 1983 (NAD83). Positions are expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds..

The coordinates representing the contour of the closed static area  are listed below:

Points

Positions

Lat. North

Long. West

1

48° 20' 00" N 63° 50' 00" W

2

47° 40' 00" N 63° 50' 00" W

3

47° 40' 00" N 64° 00' 00" W

4

47° 30' 00" N 64° 00' 00" W

5

47° 30' 00" N 64° 20' 00" W

6

47° 50' 00" N 64° 20' 00" W

7

48° 00' 00" N 64° 10' 00" W

8

48° 10' 00" N 64° 10' 00" W

9

48° 10' 00" N 64° 00' 00" W

10

48° 20' 00" N 64° 00' 00" W

11

48° 20' 00" N 63° 50' 00" W

Area enclosed by rhumb lines (similar to straight lines plotted on a nautical chart) joining the points listed above in the order they are listed. Point references are based on the geodesic system North American Datum 1983 (NAD83). Positions are expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds.

Map identifying the grid closures in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence due to the presence of NARW.

For more information

Regular updates and maps indicating sightings will be posted here