The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed the deaths of two more North Atlantic right whales on Friday. This brings the number of known right whale deaths in Canadian water this year to eight.
One of the whales was observed by an aerial surveillance flight west of the Magdalen Islands on Thursday and was re-located Friday morning by the Canadian Coast Guard ship A. LeBlanc. It is being towed to Grand-Étang, Quebec where a necropsy is scheduled to be performed on Sunday.
On Friday, the department confirmed, with the help of additional information from external partners that a dead whale observed by a fish harvester off Glace Bay, NS on June 24 was a North Atlantic right whale.
Neither of the dead whales has been individually identified and the date, location and cause of their deaths are unknown.
The Government of Canada has spent more than 1,150 hours since April in air monitoring of right whales in Atlantic Canada. There are also ongoing efforts to locate and free three right whales known to be entangled in rope and gear. On Thursday the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Coast Guard launched a three-day operation to retrieve lost fishing gear off
Atlantic Canada and Quebec, concentrating their efforts on areas with the highest reported gear losses.