05/01/2012: "Canada To Increase Marine Mammal Protection"
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has finalized a set of proposed amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR) of the Fisheries Act.
DFO as the Canadian federal department responsible for the protection of marine mammals, their habitats, and their migration routes in Canadian waters,
The amendments are designed to provide enhanced protection for marine mammals against human disturbances.
The proposed regulatory amendments were published on March 24, 2012, in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Canada Gazette is the official newspaper of the Government of Canada. See it online at: www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2012/2012-03-24/html/reg2-eng.html.
DFO explains on their website the reason for the proposed regulations: "Regulating disturbance has been a challenge for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Voluntary guidelines exist and are generally followed. However, they are not enforceable. Consequently, it has been determined that there is a need to amend the MMR to elaborate on the concept of marine mammal disturbance to make it more understandable to the public and to provide a reference point as to when a disturbance is deemed to take place."
The public has 60 days from the publication date to provide comments on the proposed amendments.