Bid to reduce right whale deaths has been 'extremely effective:' Canada - InfoNews

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Bid to reduce right whale deaths has been 'extremely effective:' Canada

A North Atlantic right whale appears at the surface of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., on March 28, 2018. A year after the population of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales suffered devastating losses, Canadian officials say measures taken this season to save the species have worked.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Dwyer
September 07, 2018 - 8:00 PM

HALIFAX - A year after the population of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales suffered devastating losses, Canadian officials say measures taken this season to protect the species have worked.

With the summer fishing season in the Gulf of St. Lawrence winding down, the Fisheries Department confirmed today that not one whale has died as a result of a ship strike or fishing gear entanglement — the main causes for most of the deaths last season.

In all, 17 right whales died last year — 12 of them in Canadian waters — prompting concerns that the population might be on the fast track toward extinction.

The federal government responded with a series of protection measures, which included speed restrictions for boats, increased surveillance and a series of closures of fishing areas where right whales were spotted.

Some measures weren't popular with fishermen, but Fisheries Department spokesman Adam Burns says they were "extremely effective."

There are believed to be fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales remaining and, of those, only about 100 breeding females.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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