The International Fund for Animal
Welfare will survey right whale habitat in go Bay of Fundy this month and raise
public awareness a about the dangers faced by whales, porpoises and other
Wildlife group will
survey Fundy starting on Friday
Representatives of Fund for Animal
Welfare to arrive on Grand Manan
BY CHUCK BROWN
Fund for Animal Welfare is bringing its research vessel Song of the Whale to
the Bay of Fundy this month with stops in Grand Marian, St. Andrews and
The group will survey right whale habitat and
raise public awareness about the dangers faced by whales, porpoises and other
"About 70 per cent of the right whales
that are out there have either scarring or are currently trailing some kind of
fishing gear," said Kim Elmslie, a spokesperson for the International Fund for
The organization was founded in Canada in
1969 to combat the Canadian seal hunt. Today, it is the world's leading
international animal welfare organization, and one of the largest animal
welfare organizations in Canada. It has more than 200 campaigners, legal and
political experts and scientists working from offices in 13 countries around
the world. The International Fund for Animal Welfare has two million
contributors 'worldwide , including 50,000 in Canada.
Friday, representatives of the group are expected to arrive on Grand Manan
island, home to thriving fisheries and salmon farms. Ms. Elmslie praised
workers `in those in dustries for measures taken to protect porpoises by
carefully releasing them when they get caught in herring weirs.
"We're really highlighting the way that fishermen are
working within their communities in the Bay of Fundy to save cetations - whales
and porpoises," she said.
On Campobello Island, fishermen
have formed the Campobello Whale Rescue Team, which the IFAW helps fund.
"I would say it's unique globally. It's the only
disentanglement team that I've encountered that's all fishermen. It's
phenomenal in that way," Ms. Elmslie said.
really trying to have an impact and they're taking their experience and
expertise of the sea and implementing it in saving this critically endangered
The IFAW is also working with the federal
Department of Fisheries and Oceans this month to survey the mouth of the Bay of
Fundy to determine critical habitat areas for right whales. The researchers on
Song of the Whale will use underwater listening devices, which Ms. Elmslie
says, doesn't disturb the whales.
"It's a way to
determine, as much as you c n, where' a species is," Ms. Elmslie said.
"Some of those areas haven't been surveyed for right
whales so we don't know if right whales actually use those areas."
On Aug. 16 the group moves from Grand Manan to St.