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Portland, Maine/Ottawa, May 3 (Canadian-Media): A group of Democratic senators, led by Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts asked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the United States should audit Canada's protection of endangered whales, media reports said.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Facebook
Due to the the grim status of North Atlantic right whales the senators put some pressure on Canada telling that out of the total number 450 right whales had died in 2017, and 12 of the deaths occurred in Canada.
A North Atlantic right whale/Wikipedia
The U.S. was concerned because it imported more than $3.3 billion worth of Canadian seafood in 2017.
In an April 25 letter to the NOAA the group of senators said that the agency should conduct a review of Canada’s right whale conservation standards, and prohibit some Canadian seafood imports if they are too weak.
U.S. officials warned that after a deadly year, that right whales could soon become extinct.
Canada believed it is making diligent efforts to protect the whales, and also wants to avoid negative effects on the countries’ trade relationship, said Lauren Sankey, a spokeswoman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FAOC).
Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Facebook
“Determining as quickly as possible whether Canada’s fishermen are being held to the same level of accountability as those in America is a critical step for taking swift action to protect this treasured species,” Markey said.
Considering that two of the biggest threats to right whales are entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with large ships, Sankey added that Canada had just recently introduced new protection measures, such as fishing gear reductions.
But Regina Asmutis-Silvia, a biologist with Plymouth, Massachusetts-based marine mammal advocacy group Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said blaming on Canada might not be the best approach and added,
“The U.S. should be watching to see if the mitigation Canada implemented is effective, but we also have to acknowledge that right whales have died on our watch, too,” Asmutis-Silvia said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)