#JonathanWilkinson; #UniversityofBritishColumbia, #DalhousieUniversity; #UniversitéduQuébecàMontréal; #funding; #SouthernResidentKillerWhale, #NorthAtlanticRightWhale; #St.LawrenceEstuaryBeluga; #DrMarcFortin; #DrChristopherTaggart; #DrAndrewTrites; #KirstyDuncan
#FisheriesandOceansCanada; #InstitutefortheOceansandFisheries; #DrJonathanVerreault
Ottawa/Vancouver (B.C.), Mar 9 (Canadian-Media): Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced yesterday that Whale Science for Tomorrow initiative (WSTI), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FAOC) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada are partnering to provide $2.9 million in funding to Canadian universities for scientific research on conservation of endangered whale populations, media reports said.
Canada's Endangered Whales. Image credit: wwf.ca
These research projects would strengthen knowledge to support decision-making, conservation and recovery efforts for the whale population.
“The Government of Canada is committed to the protection and recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale, the North Atlantic Right Whale and the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga...that by working together, we will advance our knowledge and find more solutions to the challenges facing these whales,” said Wilkinson.
Jonathan Wilkinson. Image credit: Facebook page
“NSERC is pleased to collaborate with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to...be a part of this partnership, which is helping to preserve the remarkable nature that Canada has to offer,” said Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
he Canadian universities who would be receiving this funding would be University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University and the Université du Québec à Montréal.
“There is an urgent need to determine whether Southern Resident Killer Whales are getting enough to eat in British Columbia...This funding will broaden the base of recovery research in Canada...to support government decision-making and conservation efforts for this endangered species,” said Dr. Andrew Trites, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia
"This is excellent news for the entire Dalhousie research...will further fortify our interagency collaboration among many governmental, non-governmental, industrial and academic agencies, each of which is dedicated to mitigating human threats to right whales,” said Dr. Christopher Taggart, Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University.
“Our research will also provide essential information to policymakers that could ultimately impact the management of new chemical substances that accumulate in the tissues of this endangered beluga population,” said Dr. Jonathan Verreault, Department of Biological Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal.
A number of programs under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan and the $167 million Whales Initiative support the conservation and recovery of these species.
This will also prepare the next generation of scientists to ensure the long-term conservation and recovery of these endangered whales and will provide decision-makers and policy advisors with the desired information.
Many whale populations face multiple threats, such as vessel collisions, a scarcity of prey, underwater noise, marine debris and other ocean contaminants.
“The researchers we are celebrating today will collect crucial data to help us better understand the threats facing our endangered marine mammals...to protect Canada’s species and the environment surrounding them,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.
Over the past two years, we have dedicated millions under the Oceans Protection Plan in projects that offer tangible protections for marine mammals.
The main threats to the Southern Resident Killer Whale is being addressed by the Government of Canada through the Whales Initiative by improving prey availability, reducing underwater vessel noise, increased monitoring under the water and in the air, encouraging compliance, and building partnerships for additional action.
#WorldWildlifeDay; #oceanlife; #UNEnvironment’sWildforLifecampaign; #AdrianGrenier
Toronto, Mar 3 (Canadian-Media): World Wildlife Day (WWD) was proclaimed on March 3 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013 and has become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife, media reports said.
World Wild Life Day. Image credit: www.wildlifeday.org
On this very day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
Underwater life is severely impacted by an “onslaught of threats,” but we already have the tools to positively influence ocean conservation, the UN said in a statement while declaring Mar 3 as WWD.
The theme of 2019 WWD is “Life Below Water: for people and planet.”
WWD has, for the first time, focused on life below water and recognizes the crucial importance of marine species to human development, and how marine biodiversity can be saved for future generations.
For thousands of years, marine wildlife had been providing coastal biodiversity to some three billion people for their livelihood and enriching lives culturally, spiritually and recreationally.
But the over-exploitation of marine species, pollution, the loss of coastal habitats and climate change are posing great threats to human activity both for the planet’s oceans and for human lives, particularly in coastal communities.
Factors such as warming sea temperatures, ocean acidification and a range of land-based activities have caused the loss of half the world’s coral reefs and nearly one-third of fish stocks are being consumed at unsustainable levels.
This year, UN Environment’s Wild for Life campaign, which aims to conserve wildlife on land and oceans, has ramped up its awareness-raising efforts.
In an exclusive interview with UN News, Adrian Grenier -- who was designated a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador in 2018 in recognition of his long-standing environmental activism -- said that we can all make a contribution to improving the oceans and marine life: “Overfishing is a problem, so we want to reduce it as much as possible; consider where food comes from; and make sure it's organic, because a lot of the chemicals in pesticides sprayed on crops end up running off into rivers, and can poison the sea.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)