Another North Atlantic right whale has been found dead, raising the total to nine in Canadian waters this year.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says the whale was sighted on Sunday off eastern Cape Breton, and it will try to retrieve it and conduct a necropsy on Monday.
- 2 more North Atlantic right whales found dead, pushing the year's toll to 8
- Dead right whale doesn't appear to have been entangled in fishing gear
"Efforts to rescue the entangled whales will continue once weather permits," the department said in a tweet.
Two other right whales were recently found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
A male right whale was spotted drifting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during an aerial surveillance flight, the department said on Friday, marking the seventh right whale to die in Canadian waters in 2019.
Initial findings of a necropsy performed in Grand-Étang, Que., over the weekend show there is no evidence the whale was entangled in fishing gear.
More results will be released on Monday and a full report is expected within a month.
Whale carcass not located
The other whale found dead last month off Glace Bay, N.S., was identified as a right whale on Friday.
The carcass was spotted on June 24 by a fish harvester, but DFO was not able to confirm what it was until Friday.
That whale did not have a necropsy because its carcass has not been located.
Meanwhile, two five-year-old male whales, No. 4423 and 4440, were partially disentangled by rescuers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last week.
Rescuers were able to partially remove fishing gear on No.4423 and cut the rope from No. 4440's mouth and tail on July 17.
Ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear have been identified or suspected in the deaths of other North Atlantic right whales in recent years.
Earlier this month, Transport Canada announced additional measures to protect the endangered whales from fatal ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
The department said it will keep the measures in place until at least July 22, "while continuing to evaluate actions to protect the North Atlantic right whales."
There are about 400 right whales left in the world.
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Elizabeth Fraser is a reporter/editor with CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She's originally from Manitoba. Story tip? email@example.com
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