Whale awareness guide to help avoid collisions

by MM&D Online Staff

MONTREAL, Quebec—The Shipping Federation of Canada and le Réseau d’observation de mammifères marins (ROMM) have created a new environmental tool called “A Mariners Guide to Whales in the Northwest Atlantic.”

“The guide provides mariners with information on the various types of whales they may encounter while sailing in the Northwest Atlantic, and identifies areas in which they should be particularly vigilant,” explained Caroline Gravel, the Federation’s director of environmental affairs.

The guide, which is the first of its kind in Canada, sensitizes mariners to the risk of collisions between ships and whales. It also provides descriptions of the 13 species of whales found in the Northwest Atlantic, as well as maps showing their distribution throughout the area.

“These maps are good indicators of areas with high whale densities,” noted Véronique Nolet, Assistant Director of ROMM, “but since whales don’t recognize borders in their movements, constant vigilance is a must.”

A hard copy of the guide (in English only) can be obtained by contacting either organization. The guide can also be found online here.

The Government of Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk provided major financial support for this project.