Endangered: North Atlantic right whale entangled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Endangered: North Atlantic right whale entangled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Endangered: North Atlantic right whale entangled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

A North Atlantic right whale, an endangered species with an estimated population of fewer than 360 individuals, became entangled in fishing equipment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

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The adult female was spotted on May 10 off the coast of the Magdalen Islands and the Acadian Peninsula.

She reportedly has fishing gear, including rope, that goes through both sides of her mouth and even through her baleen plates.

This rope can be dangerous for the health and safety of the marine mammal and could even lead to its death.

“If the fishing gear pulls too hard on the whale, if the whale is anchored to a cage or something like that, if the whale goes into deeper water and it can’t come to the surface, then we talks about drowning,” explains Delphine Durette-Morin of the Canadian Whaling Institute in an interview with TVA Nouvelles.

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COURTESY PHOTO / Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The whale could also become exhausted if it has to carry the equipment for a long time.

“It’s an excessive demand for energy that she could not dedicate to other activities such as feeding or reproduction,” says Delphine Durette-Morin.

The Marine Mammal Response Program is monitoring the situation closely.

An intervention plan will potentially be put in place, but first the animal must be spotted again.

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