Protecting species at risk | WWF-Canada

Protecting species at risk

	© WWF / ROGGO, Michel
Worldwide, many marine species have drastically declined in numbers, including the most threatened marine vertebrates in Canadian waters–sharks, North Atlantic right whales, and Bluefin tuna. There's an urgent need to ensure their long-term viability.

WWF is protecting marine species that are at risk from overfishing and from being caught in fishing gear designed for other species, known as unintentional catch or bycatch.

What WWF is doing

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Northern right whale
© PCCS//PCCS-NOAA permit 633-176 / WWF-Canada

Endangered right whales

WWF reduces accidental entanglement by leading the improvement of fishing gear and practices, while still allowing fishermen to catch fish.

With the help of Nova Scotia lobster fishers, WWF has created new ways to protect the remaining 400 endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Bay of Fundy. Here’s how we do it.
  • Moving shipping lanes that commonly lead to fatal collisions
  • Reducing the amount of excess rope that ties lobster traps together and risks entangling whales, marine turtles, and other species
  • Identifying known, or potential high-risk, areas with intense fishing that are a significant risk for whale entanglement

Learn more about right whales.
A Shortfin mako shark
© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF

Canadian sharks

Half of the 28 shark species in our waters are threatened with extinction. The unintentional catch of sharks in commercial fisheries is common, and particularly severe in pelagic longline fisheries aimed at catching swordfish and tuna in Atlantic waters. WWF will help create a Canadian Shark Conservation Centre.

Learn more about Canadian sharks.


Take Action

Join our Facebook group Oceans Action for the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy Group

Smart Fishing

Smart fishing practices that reduce bycatch are a crucial part of our sustainable seafood plan. WWF works on smart fishing solutions on a global basis. Find out more.