Atlantic Canada — After years of whale entanglements by fishing boats in Atlantic Canada leading to right whales becoming endangered, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has declared that no more commercial fishing will be allowed in waters around the Maritime provinces.
The ban means that fishermen and fishing companies will have to boat down to the South Atlantic Ocean when the next fishing season begins, rather than stay in the nearby North Atlantic.
“The safety of endangered species must be a priority for Canada, and as such, we believe that it is no longer feasible for fishing boats to share waters with the few right whales that remain on this planet,” stated DFO spokesperson Sandra Hedley at a press conference Monday.
“We understand that many Maritimers rely on fishing as their livelihood, and so we will offer a rebate incentive to those who are willing to navigate their boats into southern waters. We will reimburse half the cost of supplies, labour and fuel. We believe this is a fair trade to guarantee that both right whales and the fishing industry continue to live.”
Many people involved in the fishing industry attended the press conference and expressed anger at the announcement.
“Are you friggin’ kidding me? How the hell are we supposed to catch anything if we spend all our time just trying to get down south and back?” bellowed fisherman Ron Gruber.
“This isn’t worth the E.I. money I get the rest of the year. Pain in the arse. I always wanted to be a painter though, and I hear the arts gets good money. I might give ‘er a go.”
Some of the attendees kept an open mind.
“Well I love going to Cuba every winter, so maybe I can swing on by during fishing season if we do head down next year,” mused John Tremble, a lobster fisherman. “Maybe I can net myself some exotic southern fishies. I hear they make a pretty penny around these parts.”
The DFO says that any boats caught fishing in Atlantic waters next year will be treated like the pirates of old and gunned down on sight, or boarded, and the workers hung by a noose or forced to walk the plank.