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Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SAR-2008P-019

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SAR-2008P-019 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species
Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

The aim of this project is to understand the movement of leatherback turtles over short distances within Canadian waters, and over long distances within the Atlantic Ocean. Researchers also expect to learn about the turtles’ foraging activity and diet. Research will be conducted from commercial fishing vessels using crews with 9 seasons’ experience handling turtles. All captured turtles will be implanted with microchip tags and will have flipper tags attached (unless they already have a flipper tag). Satellite tags will be attached to at most 15 turtles, to track their long-distance movements within the Atlantic Ocean over several months. Additional turtles will be equipped with short-term data loggers, applied to their carapace using suction cups. These will last up to 10 hours after application and will provide data about the turtles’ movements in the vicinity of their capture. Blood samples and DNA skin samples will be taken from all captured turtles. Stomach temperature transmitter pills will allow researchers to monitor stomach temperature for up to 14 hours after capture Any turtles accidentally caught in fishing gear will be examined, rehabilitated as necessary and tagged before release. Any dead turtles recovered at sea or ashore will be examined for collection of measurements, tissue and blood samples to support collaborative research projects. Whenever possible, necropsies will be done to determine cause of death.

Start Date: 2008-06-05   End Date: 2008-12-31

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Nova Scotia

Affected Species:

a) The selected collection methods have minimal impact on the species or its habitat. Turtles are captured at the surface and not subjected to forced submergence. Nets used to capture turtles are constructed of relatively soft material to prevent skin abrasion. Handling times are short to minimize stress to the animals. b) The effect of research activities on the species and its habitat is minimized by use of approved research methodologies. Instruments attachment is largely non-invasive (suction cups). Satellite tags are attached using harnesses that include corrodible links, ensuring their release from the animals. Crews handling the turtles have extensive experience capturing and handling sea turtles (nine seasons). c) The research is not expected to jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. The study involves a small proportion of the seasonal foraging population of leatherback turtles in Canada, and no mortality is expected. The work has the potential to contribute to the long-term survival of the species.

Contact Person(s)
Fisheries Management – Maritimes Region
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
1 Challenger Dr.
PO Box 1006
Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 4A2
Tel: 866-891-0771