Your question, Bobby, I think is on the minds of many people in the industry. It's certainly on the minds of Canadians who we talked to across the country, not just in coastal areas. The tragic circumstances around the death of north Atlantic right whales on the east coast of Canada and in the United States last season is understandably something that is an enormous priority for our government and for provincial governments.
I'm happy to say for the fishing industry itself as well that from the beginning we have benefited from an enthusiastic and engaged co-operation from the fishing industry. They do not want to be seen as not taking every possible step to protect these highly endangered whales. We've had discussions, for example, with the snow crab industry in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The commissioner and I have spoken about trying to start the season a bit earlier—we're hopeful that this is possible—to allow the gear to be out of the water sooner.
We have looked at a whole series of measures around changing the gear. I hope to make some announcements in the coming days around piloting ropeless traps. If somebody had said to someone in your father or grandfather's generation, Bobby, that they'd be putting a crab pot at the bottom of the St. Lawrence and remotely detonating some buoy that would pop up to the surface with a GPS signal to identify the exact location of the trap, they wouldn't have believed it. That technology is available. It needs to be tested. We're going to be working with the industry, which is enthusiastic to test that as early as this year. We'll be in a position to see if we can apply those kinds of gear changes.
I have a final thing, Mr. Chair. I'm concerned about potential suspension of certification of the snow crab fishery in the Gulf. It's been reported in the media and the deputy tells me it was on CBC this morning. We've worked with the Marine Stewardship Council, and the deputy and others had meetings at a Boston seafood show a couple of weeks ago with the global leaders of the Marine Stewardship Council. I have concerns about the snow crab fishery in the Gulf and the potential suspension of its certification this season. That's why it's so important. This certification is important to Canadians, the industry, and to our exports, so it's important that we prevent and do everything we can to ensure that we don't repeat some of the tragic events that surprised everybody last summer. We'll work with the industry on that important issue as well.