Canadian and US fishermen, politicians, managers, scientists, environmentalists, and the public know the right whales need help and lots of people are stepping up to try to save them. In both Canada and the US, regulators hope to find management solutions that allow the industry to support the families and communities that rely on them.
If fishermen are able to successfully fish with these new ropeless traps, there is hope that with improved development of ropeless gear, continued collaboration with fishermen, and regulatory changes, there could be a future for right whales and fishermen in the North Atlantic. The actions of fishermen, regulators, and right whales over the next few months will determine if that future is possible.
Photograph credit: Carol Carson