for moving shipping lanes to protect whales
By NINA CHIARELLI
A New Brunswick
scientist has been recognized for hex work to move shipping lanes in the Bay of
Fundy to protect of endangered right whales.
Brown, a scientist who spends her summers in Grand Manan and her winters in
Cape Cod at the Center for Coastal Studies, said she was pleased to hear her
work on the vessel-whale working group had come to fruition.
The travelling lanes used by ships in the Bay of Fundy
will change this July to accommodate whales sharing the waters, she said. "It's
been a long time coming," she said. "But I find the recognition embarrassing."
Dr. Brown is nominated in the restoration and
rehabilitation category of the 2003 Canadian Environment Awards. She is up
against a Port Perry, Ont., avian restoration team, and a Scarborough, Ont.,
community conservation group.
The awards are handed out
by Canadian Georgraphic Enterprises and are inspired by Canada's Environment
Week, which runs June 1-7. The awards are in their second year and celebrate
Canadians doing their part to proudly defend this country's environment.
Dr. Brown said the best part of being recognized was the
light that will be shed onto the scientists, fishermen, shippers and
professional mariners "from various different walks looking to see if we could
afford the right whale a little more protection.
working group used 14 years of data which compared the lane-ways most travelled
in the Bay of Fundy by ships and by whales.
She said the
move expects to see a relative probability of reducing whale-ship collisions by
about 80 per cent.
"It's not a 100 per cent solution. But
it's a good compromise," she said.
The initiative is also
"quite precedent setting," she said, in that it was done in conjunction with
the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations body that promotes
cooperation among countries in regulating shipping practices.
"The recognition for right whales through this will be
important," Dr. Brown said.
Right whales are an
endangered species. It is believed only about 300 to 350 exist in the world.
They migrate from the Bay of Fundy each year to warmer waters along the eastern
The award will be handed out June 2, in
Toronto. Winners will be awarded $5,000 to donate to the environmental cause of