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Overview of potential consequences for different stakenholders

3. Overview of potential consequences for different stakeholders

This consultation workbook was designed so that stakeholders can better understand the implications of adding the Beluga Whale (St.Lawrence population) to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk on their activities. If the species is listed, automatic prohibitions under SARA will apply. A recovery process will also be undertaken. Recovery efforts will likely involve the implementation of management measures that may have an impact on current stakeholder activities. Some examples of potential impacts are presented below. This list of measures is not extensive and is not necessarily conclusive of recovery or management measures that will be put in place.

The whale-watching industry and private whale-watching could be subject to stricter regulations. These regulations, which could be similar to the Regulations on Marine Activities in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, could focus on increasing the minimum distance to be maintained between whales and boats, reducing vessel speeds near Beluga Whales, or reducing the amount of time tour vessels can spend near Beluga Whales.

In a similar context, commercial or recreationalvessel traffic could be deviated from its usual routes or forced to follow a more precise navigation corridor. Research vessels could also be required to conform to stricter guidelines since protection of the Beluga Whale could also restrict the kind of research allowed in areas that are deemed vital for this species.

With regards to seismic exploration and oil and gas development, specific and detailed guidelines could be developed: implementing partial or complete exclusion zones, restrictions of exploration and exploitation activities during certain periods of the year, having automated acoustic whale detection systems, qualified marine mammals observers, or any other suitable measure.

The fishing industry could experience restrictions with regard to the use of certain fishing gear, or have limited access to specific sectors according to the time of year. The commercial exploitation of specific preys could be limited or prohibited in sectors of significant abundance.