The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has responded to the Canadian government’s recent decision to modify right whale protections, specifically concerning how they affect lobster and crab fishers.
On the one hand, the institute welcomes and applauds the government commitment to “Whale Safe” ropeless fishing gear. However, it does not accept the promotion of weaker rope lines as a long-term solution for entanglement.
According to AWI marine animal consultant Kate O’Connell:
“Entanglement is a serious animal welfare issue, and it is clear that the North Atlantic right whale population cannot even sustain one single death or serious injury each year if the species is to survive. Both Canada and the United States must take the necessary actions to ensure that all human-caused threats to these whales are eliminated.”
You can find the Canadian government decision here.