New Brunswick

2 more North Atlantic right whales found dead, pushing the year's toll to 8

Two more North Atlantic right whales have been found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the seventh and eighth whales to be found dead in Canadian waters this year.

Cause of deaths and where they happened not known, Fisheries Department says

Eight North Atlantic right whale deaths have been reported this year. This whale was found off Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula. (Marilyn Marx/Anderson Cabot Center-NEAQ)

Two more North Atlantic right whales have been found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the seventh and eighth whales to be found dead in Canadian waters this year.

The body of a male right whale was spotted drifting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during an aerial surveillance flight, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said Friday.

The whale was sighted Thursday afternoon west of Magdalen Island.

A necropsy will take place Sunday in Grand-Étang, Que. 

The other dead whale, originally sighted last month off Glace Bay, N.S., was identified as a right whale Friday. The carcass was sighted on June 24 by a fish harvester, but the Fisheries Department was not able to confirm what it was until Friday.

"It's unfortunate that we didn't know sooner that it had been a right whale, but it's very important that we know now what it was," said Tonya Wimmer, executive director of the Marine Animal Response Society.

The whale identified Friday will not have a necropsy because its carcass has not been located.

"At the moment, sadly, that animal is just a lost carcass," Wimmer said.

It is not known where or how either whale died, the release said.

The department would not make a spokesperson available Friday afternoon for an interview. 

Only about 400 of the whales remain.

Ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear have been identified or suspected in the deaths of other North Atlantic right whales in recent years.  

"Everyone kind of hopes every time we happen to have a few days without anything that the incident is over, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment," Wimmer said.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.