Cana­dian govt will use all re­sources to pro­tect whales

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

MON­TREAL:

The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment said Thurs­day it would “bring all the re­sources nec­es­sary” to pro­tect the en­dan­gered North At­lantic right whale, after 10 of the mam­mals died in the Gulf of St Lawrence in the past two months. The North At­lantic right whale, which is much larger than a hump­back or a gray whale, is one of the most en­dan­gered whale species, with only about 500 of them left in the world. Most of the 10 car­casses found in the last two months showed signs of be­ing tan­gled in fish­ing nets or ca­bles.

Canada “will bring all the re­sources nec­es­sary to bear to en­sure that ev­ery pos­si­ble mea­sure is in place” for both the pro­tec­tion and re­cov­ery of the species, said Fish­eries Min­is­ter Do­minic LeBlanc. In July, author­i­ties banned fish­ing in sev­eral parts of the Gulf of St Lawrence to pro­tect the whales. “We es­ti­mate maybe 80 to 100 right whales cur­rently in the Gulf of St Lawrence. That’s two or three times higher than any other pre­vi­ous year,” LeBlanc told a press con­fer­ence. “So the phe­nom­e­non of see­ing per­haps 200 or more right whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence in an area of high marine and ship­ping traf­fic, but also an area of ex­ten­sive com­mer­cial fish­ery, is new.” The gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to in­crease the num­ber of sur­veil­lance flights check­ing on the whales, and also to use acous­tic equip­ment that would de­tect them miles be­fore they reach the shore, al­low­ing fish­er­men to be warned.—AFP

MAS­SACHUSETTS: This file photo by the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion shows an en­dan­gered North At­lantic right whale which is en­tan­gled in heavy plas­tic fish­ing link (Green Line-C) off Cape Cod, Mas­sachusetts. — AFP

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