Another North Atlantic right whale found dead in Gulf of St. Lawrence

Another North Atlantic right whale has been found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said in a release the carcass was found Friday morning off Miscou Island following a surveillance flight.

The department said it is the 11th confirmed death of a North Atlantic right whale in the Gulf in recent months.

DFO said it will attempt to recover and perform a necropsy on the whale next week. 

“The Department cannot confirm if this whale is the same individual that was spotted entangled off the Gaspé Penninsula at the end of August,” the statement read. 

Numerous whale deaths

This right whale is one of many “unprecedented” whale deaths which occurred this summer. The whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world and number no more than 500.

In August, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the department would bring “absolutely every protection to bear” to prevent the deaths of North Atlantic Right whales.

Days later, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a mandatory slowdown in the Gulf for vessels of more than 20 metres in length.

Part of the snow crab fishery was also closed in an effort to save the remaining population of North Atlantic right whales.

Necropsies performed on three whales previously found in the Gulf revealed that two of their deaths were a result of collisions with ships. The other died as a result of entanglement. 

At least 13 North Atlantic right whales have been found dead off the coast of the U.S. and Canada this year, prompting the U.S. government to launch an investigation into what it described as “an unusual mortality event.”

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