Focus on helping right whales survive, not assigning blame: Canadian official

A Canada-U.S. spat over who is responsible for the recent death of a critically endangered right whale has prompted a senior Canadian official to suggest there’s got to be a better way of settling such disputes.

Adam Burns, a director general with the federal Fisheries Department, says government officials on both sides of the border should end the practice of issuing duelling reports and instead create an independent, international panel of experts.

Burns, who is in charge of resource management, says the focus should be on helping the whales survive rather than laying blame.

READ MORE: Canadian government modifies North Atlantic right whale protection measures for 2021

Some whale conservation experts in Canada say an independent panel sounds like a good idea.

Last month, Canadian officials challenged American allegations that fishing gear from Canada was to blame for the entanglement of a North Atlantic right whale found dead off South Carolina on Feb. 27.

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At the time, the Fisheries Department said it had determined the gear likely came from an American inshore fishing boat – but U.S. officials argued the gear appeared to be from the Canadian snow crab fishery.

Federal government cracking down on abandoned fishing equipment – Aug 27, 2019

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