Nova Scotia·DEEP TROUBLE

2 more dead right whales discovered in Gulf of St. Lawrence

More dead North Atlantic right whales have been found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, says Fisheries and Oceans Canada, with the two located near the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick and west of the Magdalen Islands.

These are the 3rd and 4th confirmed dead North American right whales in Canadian waters this year

A young North American right whale found dead in Cape Cod Bay is shown in this 2017 photo. On Tuesday, Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed two dead right whales have been found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, bringing the total to four this season. (R. Miller/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

In a series called Deep Trouble, CBC News explores the perils facing the endangered North Atlantic right whale.


Two more dead North Atlantic right whales have been found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, says Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The whales were located near the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick and west of the Magdalen Islands, a department news release said Tuesday.

They are the third and fourth confirmed deaths of North Atlantic right whales to be reported in Canadian waters this year.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with marine mammal response partners to work out the next steps, the release said.

On Tuesday, a veterinarian team from the University of Prince Edward Island was in Petit Étang, N.S., and performed a necropsy of a whale known as Punctuation, nicknamed for the small head scars resembling dashes and commas.

The female was spotted floating dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last Wednesday during a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

It is too early to report on preliminary findings from that examination, DFO said.

Another whale's carcass towed to island

On June 4, the carcass of a right whale known as Wolverine was discovered in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The animal was towed to Miscou Island, where a necropsy was performed by veterinarians from UPEI and the University of Montreal on June 7.

"These experts reported that there was no evidence of recent fishing gear entanglement or recent vessel strike in their preliminary assessment. Further testing is ongoing to identify other potential causes of death," DFO said.

No right whales died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year, but 12 perished the year before.

An estimated 414 right whales remain worldwide.   

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