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Animal-rights groups file suit against U.S. government over right-whale deaths

LINDSEY JONES: ‘Conservation and animal-rights groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government on Thursday for failing to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale from lethal fishing-gear entanglements after an unprecedented spate of deaths in Canadian and U.S. waters last year…

“Right whales are hanging on the brink of extinction and the [U.S.] federal government needs to do everything in its power to prevent whales from dying painful deaths in entanglements in fishing gear. We just can’t let the species go extinct on our watch”… said Kristen Monsell, a senior lawyer at the Center for Biological Diversity, which is based in the United States.

Twelve of the 17 right whales found dead in Canadian and U.S. waters last year were discovered in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a semi-enclosed fishing and shipping area bordering the Atlantic provinces and Quebec. The total deaths account for nearly 4 per cent of the world’s population, of which there remains only about 450. Scientists say the species may be extinct in two decades unless protective measures are taken’. SOURCE…

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