This week, Karen Ludwig, Liberal MP for New Brunswick Southwest, brought forward a motion for private members bill M-154, Study on the Situation of Canada's Endangered Whales. In an uncommon occurance in the Commons, M-154 was supported by a vote of 278-0. Introduced in April, the motion called on the House fisheries committee to be mandated to:
- Identify steps that could be taken to better protect and help the recovery of right, beluga, and killer whales;
- Identify immediate and longer term improvements limiting the impact of human activities on each of these species and, by so doing, add to recovery efforts and to recommendations for new or enhanced actions;
- Call expert witnesses on each species, hearing from those who might be affected by any possible actions, and working to find a balance among various competing claims; and that the Committee present its final report to the House within four months of the adoption of this motion.
The global population of the North Atlantic right whales is estimated to be 450, the current population of the St. Lawrence estuary beluga at 900, and there are only 76 Southern Resident Killer Whales.