HOME MINKE RIGHT FINBACK SEI HUMPBACK ORCA BLUE
SUPPORT ETHICS TALES SONGS IMAGES GUESTBOOK LINKS SHARKS

WWF pushes for more focus on right-whale entanglements

BY NINA CHIARELLI
Telegraph-Journal
June 13/03

   A global whaling conference in Germany this weekend has Maritime conservationists hoping to draw attention to the entanglement of whales in the Bay of Fundy.
   Delegates from around the globe are gathering in Berlin, Germany for the 55th meeting of the International Whaling Commission to discuss whale-killing methods, aboriginal whale subsistence, and whale welfare issues.
   However, Canada is not a member of the commission, so Cathy Merriman, a conservation biologist with Canada's World Wildlife Fund office in Halifax, said any decisions or policies agreed upon at the meeting would have no effect on Canadian practices.
   "The World Wildlife Fund is seeking member countries to put more focus on the issue (of entanglement)," she said.
   Recently published research by two commission scientists, Dr. Andrew Read and Dr. Simon Northridge, suggests bycatch, the process that nets unsuspecting species by fishermen, is killing about 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises, also known as cetaceans, each year worldwide.
   The WWF is hoping this research would be considered when commission members would consider a bycatch resolution to address the treat to cetaceans.
   "On the world stage (fishing is) a growing industry that has some serious implications to these species," Ms. Merriman said.
   Ms. Merriman said bycatch, coupled with collisions with large ships, threatens the already endangered right whales along the Fundy coast.
   "It's a serious problem because the loss of one whale every year is serious," she said.
   It is believed that there are fewer than 350 right whales left in the world.
   "The bad luck of the natural habi tat that right whales find most favourable is also most favourable to humans for fishing and shipping," Ms. Merriman said.

HOME MINKE RIGHT FINBACK SEI HUMPBACK ORCA BLUE
SUPPORT ETHICS TALES SONGS IMAGES GUESTBOOK LINKS SHARKS