The increase in oil transportation on the St. Lawrence River and the construction of a port in Cacouna are a threat for belugas
The St. Lawrence beluga population is around 1,000 individuals since the 1980s, however, “since the mid-2000s, the population shows signs of significant demographic changes including increased mortality rate among newborns and a decrease in the proportion of young people in the population, “the COSEWIC report.
“The main current threats to this population include pathogens, toxic algal blooms, pollution, disturbance from noise and other human intrusions and disruptions,” the report specifies.
Major economic projects soon challenged to protect habitat deemed “essential to the maintenance of biological functions” beluga?
The federal government promised in May that he would protect critical habitat for beluga extending over several hundred square kilometers of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Saguenay-Saint-Laurent, which covers alone more than 1245 km2.When this habitat deemed “essential to the maintenance of biological functions” of the species will be officially designated, the Government has the obligation to protect, and thus to counter the projects could harm whales, such as the Energy Saguenay. This liquefaction project and maritime export of natural gas valued at $ 7.5 billion would be built in La Baie, near Chicoutimi. The massive LNG tankers pass by in fact the only marine park in Quebec. Moreover, according to the plans of the Maritime Strategy liberals, crucial areas for beluga whales will be subject to increased shipping traffic in the coming years. Quebec has indeed develop industrial port zone in Saguenay and another in Cacouna, a maritime region considered the nursery belugas.