US Wants Proof Canada Saves Whales, but Some Scientists Balk

The tail of one of the right whales briefly sighted off Martha’s Vineyard Feb. 21, 2017. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Pete Duley, NEFSC. Images collected under MMPA research permit #17355

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A group of Democratic senators says the U.S. government should audit the job Canada is doing to protect endangered whales.

The senators, led by Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, cite the dire status of North Atlantic right whales as a reason to put some pressure on Canada. The right whales number only about 450 and suffered through a year of 17 deaths in 2017, and 12 of the deaths were in Canada.

The senators say the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should conduct a review of Canada’s conservation standards, and consider prohibitions on Canadian seafood imports if they do not.

The Canadian government and some U.S. scientists reacted coolly to the idea. A spokesperson for Canada’s government says the country wants to avoid negative impacts on the countries’ trade relationship.

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