But permanent, meaningful protections are needed to reverse the decline of this vulnerable
Toronto, Aug. 11, 2017 - The following statement from WWF-Canada president and CEO
David Miller is in response to this Government of Canada announcement of new measures
to protect North Atlantic right whales.
"WWF-Canada is pleased that the Government of Canada has taken measures to slow
ships in areas where endangered North Atlantic right whales are known to frequent.
It’s an important step. But temporary measures such as these are not enough to reverse
the decline of these whales.
We need to ensure permanent, meaningful protections for the vital habitat of North
Atlantic right whales and other vulnerable marine wildlife. The government is planning
to create a marine protected area (MPA) around the Laurentian Channel, where North
Atlantic right whales are known to frequent. But proposed regulations will still
allow oil and gas drilling and seismic blasts in 80 per cent of the MPA. These activities
threaten whales and other wildlife. An oil spill would be even more devastating.
We also need to understand why ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement have contributed
to the sharp spike in whales deaths this year, with at least 12 having perished
from a population estimated to number only about 500. For example, lack of sufficient
food or poisoning from ingesting toxic substances in the ocean risk leaving the
whales diminished, disoriented and less able to avoid dangerous ships and harmful
fishing gear. We need a better understanding to take more appropriate measures based
on the best available science."
About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for
Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that
nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more
information, visit wwf.ca.