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U.S. environmental group puts Canadian fisheries on its target list

January 07, 2014 - 12:22 PM

WASHINGTON - A prominent U.S. environmental group is targeting seafood imports from countries that don't follow American fishing standards — and Canada is on its blacklist.

The criticism comes from the Natural Resources Defence Council, which is lobbying the U.S. to enforce a domestic law that bans imports from countries that fail to apply American rules for protecting sea mammals.

A new council report says 650,000 sea mammals are killed each year while many fish-exporting countries, including Canada, either fail to offer U.S.-style protections or simply aren't following reporting guidelines.

Canada is ranked as the second-highest fish exporter to the U.S., following China, with $2.5 billion a year in fisheries goods shipped to the U.S.

In Canada's case, the report says whales and harbour porpoises are dying because fisheries on the East Coast, notably for crab and lobster, don't use the same catching techniques.

The U.S. fishing industry played a role in the report's release; at a news conference, a Louisiana shrimp fisherman insisted foreigners should adopt the same, costly U.S. environmental rules to ensure a "level playing field."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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