Fishing gear threat to right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) in Canadian waters and the risk of lethal entanglement

Vanderlaan, A.S.M. and R.K. Smedbol
Journal/Publisher Name
Canadian Journal of fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume (Issue #)
Page #s
Contact information
Angelia S.M. Vanderlaan (e-mail:

Right whale survey data and Canadian fishing gear deployment data were used to estimate the threat of gear entanglement to right whales in the Scotia-Fundy region and the risk of lethal entanglement in the Bay of Fundy and Roseway Basin, Scotian Shelf. The following fisheries were investigated: groundfish and pelagic hook and line, groundfish gillnet, and crab, hagfish and inshore/offshore lobster traps. Groundfish hook and line gear poses the largest threat to right whales during the summer resident period in the Bay of Funday and on Roseway Basin (Critical Habitat). The lobster fishery poses the greatest threat during the spring and summer periods as whales migrate to and from Critical Habitat. Gillnet's pose a considerable gear related threat, 18% of the total threat.