Oct. 6, 2017, HALIFAX - The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) has reviewed the necropsy reports for the tragic multiple deaths of North Atlantic Right Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this summer and is continuing its call for increased long-term efforts to improve knowledge of the movements of these animals in the region.
“We’re disappointed but unsurprised to find that almost all deaths are due to human activities,” said Sean Brillant, CWF manager of marine programs. “Solving this is going to require input from all interests and we’re eager to start that process.”
The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) released the Incident Report: North Atlantic Right Whale Mortality Event in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 2017.
CWF is greatly concerned by the alarming numbers of Right Whale deaths this year but commends the comprehensive report and the dedicated work of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and the Canadian Marine Animal Response Alliance (CMARA).
CWF stands by its recommendation published earlier this year to reduce the risk to entangle North Atlantic Right Whales by at least 30 per cent and to accomplish this by excluding fishing from those areas where whales occur most regularly. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has released a science assessment that also recommends the same action.
CWF also supports Transport Canada’s commitment to maintaining speed restrictions for ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as long as North Atlantic Right Whales are present, and altering their location depending on the movements of these whales.
The 10 Right Whales that died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this summer represent almost three per cent of the remaining population. Most were killed by blunt force trauma from ship strikes, but two also died as a result of entanglement in fishing lines.
To learn more North Atlantic Right Whales visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information.
Senior Conservation Biologist - Marine Programs
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