International Fisheries Ministers Offer Support Over Right Whale Concerns

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 13:05 PM

An investigation continues into the latest sighting of an entangled North Atlantic Right Whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic Leblanc says they flew over the area where the whale was first spotted.

In the same area, a pod of 13 whales were located, "We're continuing flyovers and we're continuing patrols in that area and all over the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It is our hope, or at least the scientists believe it is possible that perhaps the whale freed itself and can be positively identified in the pod.  But we do not have a positive identification at this point that the whale did free itself and is with the pod.  We are working with the Americans and other Canadian partners, and once we have information, we would be happy to share it."

Leblanc added that right whales were discussed during meeting this week in Shediac that included Fisheries Ministers from around the world, "I invited my colleagues to share with us, practices around marine mammal protection, and if they had advice for us or suggestions for us, we were certainly eager to work with any international partners who have experience in dealing with these difficult situations."

At least 13 Right Whales have been found dead off Atlantic Canada and New England since the first week of June with estimates saying less than 500 are left.