Canadian seafood faces US ban over whaling

EXPORTS of Canadian seafood to the United States could be under threat over Canada’s whaling policy.
Eleven Democratic Party senators have called on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the body which governs US fishing policy, to investigate whether Canada is doing enough to protect North Atlantic ‘right’ whales, which are an endangered species.
And, if not, then it should consider banning certain types of Canadian seafood. Canada sells more than $3 billion worth of seafood to its neighbour each year.
Salmon producing countries such as Norway and Scotland are facing a similar threat from the US if they continue to cull seals by shooting them.
The Democratic senators say that the number of right whales has declined dramatically in recent years and now number less than 500.
They sent a letter to NOAA urging the agency to conduct a review of Canada’s right whale conservation standards, and consider prohibitions on some Canadian seafood imports if it finds they are not strong enough.
The Canadian government said it is making a lot of strides to protect the whales. Lauren Sankey, a spokeswoman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said her country would work closely with the United States to minimise any risk to marine mammals.
And Regina Asmutis-Silvia, a biologist with Whale and Dolphin Conservation group in Plymouth, Massachusetts, said banning Canadian seafood might not be the best approach. It makes more sense to focus on greater protections in US waters, she added.