AJAs 2018 Finalists


Slug/Label whalesfishermen
Date Aired or Published
Media outlet where first aired or published: Times & Transcript
Name of Program: Times & Transcript
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Moncton
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

This story takes readers onboard a fishing boat with a family of lobstermen who harvest from the edge of the zone where the federal government slapped a halt on lobster fishing in a desperate effort to keep the Chaleur Bay and Gulf of St. Lawrence clear of anything that may harm the endangered North Atlantic right whale. It illustrated a point the lobster industry had been making to then-Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc via meetings, editorials, and protests that saw a massive piles of lobster traps stacked in front of the local MP’s office: fishermen understand how important saving the whales is, but they aren’t the problem. Late in 2018, the federal government released a scientific report that suggested the fishermen were essentially right: the whales rarely come in the shallow waters where the lobstermen make their living. Reporting this story required an evening interview with the family and an early morning trip aboard the “Jean Christelle”. Bateman also filed a compelling, comprehensive photo gallery and a sidebar talking to a local fishing boat manufacturer which changed its hull design to make the boats less dangerous for the right whales.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

The company paid for a motel room and car rental to allow Bateman to get to the Acadian Penninsula for two nights to spend with the Richard family and report the story. He used his own camera gear for the photos.

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