Nfld. & Labrador

'Unprecedented:' Another right whale carcass washes up on Newfoundland shore

Ten right whales have now been found along the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. DFO says the situation is "unprecedented and extremely concerning."

10 right whales have been found dead along the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Department of Fisheries and Oceans personnel take samples from a dead right whale that washed up on the shores of Cape Ray, on the west coast of Newfoundland. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Another North Atlantic right whale carcass has washed up on the west coast of Newfoundland.

Four right whale carcasses have now been identified on the west coast of the province, bringing the number of dead right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to 10.

In a release sent Aug. 1, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says "this is an unprecedented number of deaths and the situation is extremely concerning."

In the release, the department said the carcass was discovered south of the River of Ponds area. Its identity was confirmed after a surveillance flight.

This dead right whale was found south of the River of Ponds area, one of four found on the west coast of Newfoundland. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Fisheries and Oceans says research scientist Jack Lawson and local fisheries officers are working to determine what killed the whales.

In the meantime, the department is taking measures to protect right whales in the area, including surveillance flights and the closing of snow crab fishing in the area.

This North Atlantic right whale carcass was found in Cedar Cove. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Three other whale carcasses have washed up on Newfoundland shores in Chimney Cove, Cape Ray and Cedar Cove.

Lawson told CBC News last week that he estimates there are only 468 right whales in the world. Researchers in Nova Scotia think that number might be closer to 500.

Another view of the right whale carcass found in Cape Ray, on the west coast of Newfoundland. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)