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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 marine animals.

Wildlife group will survey Fundy starting on Friday
Representatives of Fund for Animal Welfare to arrive on Grand Manan

BY CHUCK BROWN
Telegraph-Journal
August 08/05

    The International 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 Campobello.
   The group will survey right whale habitat and raise public awareness about the dangers faced by whales, porpoises and other marine animals.
   "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 Animal Welfare.
   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.
   On 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.
   "They're 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 species."
   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. Andrews.

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