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DFO, and partners rescue one entangled North Atlantic Right Whale

Six of the endangered mammals have died since early June, three of them believed to have been killed from vessel strikes
102217-right whale-adobe stock photo-MG
Right whale tail while swimming in the ocean (stock photo)

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has some good news to report - they have rescued one of the entangled North Atlantic Right Whales they've been trying to help for weeks.

DFO says yesterday, for the first time in several days, maritime weather conditions permitted searching and attempting to rescue the three right whales.

An aerial surveillance flight by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spotted whale number 4423 around 10 yesterday morning, and the Campobello Whale Rescue Team began disentanglement operations.

They were able to successfully remove gear keeping the whale from using it's tail while diving, but attempts to remove additional gear had to be interrupted at dusk.

This right whale was first observed entangled on July 4th, east of Miscou Island, New Brunswick. It's believed it was entangled prior to arriving in Atlantic Canadian waters, with initial reports suggesting it could be a whale first seen entangled in April this year in American waters.

Surveillance flights continued for the other two entangled right whales - number 4440 has been spotted several times since June 29th, but disentanglment operations have not been possible. A third entangled whale seen July 4th east of the Gaspé Peninsula has not yet been identified.

DFO says because right whales spend a lot of time travelling underwater, it is difficult to observe them from the air - but they add search operations will continue as long as the weather holds.

An estimated four hundred of the endangered mammals are believed to be left in the wild.


About the Author: Dave Heintzman

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