Let whales choose what they want. Comment deadline coming up fast
This petition had 433 supporters
The largest population of Belugas in the world is at Churchill, on Hudson's Bay, in northern Canada, with thousands of Belugas. Many of them enjoy music from boats. A proposed plan will deny them all access to music. They deserve the right to choose for themselves.
The Province of Manitoba has drafted a plan and wants comments by March 7, 2016, to have the best boating rules and the best plan to protect these Belugas.
Many Belugas in Churchill choose to enjoy music from boats. You can see this in Canadian reporting and videos. Belugas are intelligent and curious, and deserve to decide how much interaction to have. They also deserve areas where they can avoid boats entirely when they want to.
To keep interactions safe and let Belugas choose:
1. The plan needs to require cages around propellers, to protect Belugas from cuts. Some boats already use them, but the draft has no rules.
2. They need a speed limit near Belugas. The draft has no speed limit. Speed limits have saved lives of right whales in other places.
3. They need to plan a seasonal floating pier where people can see Belugas, without any noise or disturbance from boats. A map in the plan shows many Belugas swim close to shore, where a pier can be.
4. The draft plan asks boats to stay more than 100 meters away from Belugas. That rule forbids the musical interactions which some Belugas clearly enjoy. It gives Belugas no choice. Instead, Manitoba can use different buoys to mark (A) areas where boats may slow down and wait for Belugas to come close if they want to, (B) areas where boats may not go, so Belugas can choose privacy, and (C) areas where boats may go but need to avoid Belugas. Belugas will associate different buoys with different activities by boats, and Belugas can choose what they want.
If visitors have to stay 100 meters from Belugas they won't visit Churchill, since they can barely see the Belugas, and will visit Belugas in captivity, which is not as enriching.
Links to the draft plan and more information are at http://canada.smad.info
This petition is not affiliated with Explore, but they've made great videos of the Churchill Belugas enjoying music.
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