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Govt takes action to protect endangered species and habitats

May 17. 16

Editorial, FiS 

Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) head Hunter Tootoo and the Canadian Coast Guard have taken action to protect five aquatic species at risk and the habitats critical for their survival or recovery.

As part of this initiative, through which the beluga population of the St. Lawrence Estuary, the North Atlantic right whale, nooksack dace, northern madtom, and four populations of white sturgeon are receiving protection, Minister Tootoo has signed Critical Habitat Orders under the Species at Risk Act.

A Critical Habitat Order focuses on specific geographic locations essential for the survival of the species, such as where they give birth, hatch, feed or raise their young. The Order does not mean that no human activities can be carried out in the critical habitat. However, activities must be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they will not lead to the destruction of the habitat and require authorization before going ahead.

The Critical Habitat Orders for the two whale populations was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on May 14, 2016.

The public will have 30 days to comment before the Orders are enacted and published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. Protecting the critical habitat of the other three species has already been the subject of public consultation and will be enacted and published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on May 18, 2016.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will release more than 50 recovery strategies, management plans and action plans for protecting species at risk in the coming months.

Recovery documents are developed in cooperation with experts from universities, conservation groups, Indigenous groups, industry, and government.

Read the original story here

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