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Researchers ask boaters to stay 100 metres away from whale

A beluga whale shows his tail in the St.Lawrence River near Tadoussac Que., Monday, July 24, 2006. Marine researchers are asking Islanders to stay a safe distance away from a beluga whale spotted in Charlottetown rivers. A beluga whale was seen in the Charlottetown harbour last Thursday and more sightings were reported in the North, Hillsborough and West Rivers in the area over the weekend.
A beluga whale shows his tail in the St.Lawrence River near Tadoussac Que., Monday, July 24, 2006. Marine researchers are asking Islanders to stay a safe distance away from a beluga whale spotted in Charlottetown rivers. A beluga whale was seen in the Charlottetown harbour last Thursday and more sightings were reported in the North, Hillsborough and West Rivers in the area over the weekend. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Marine researchers are asking people to stay a safe distance away from a beluga whale that has strayed into a number of rivers around Charlottetown.

The whale was seen in the Charlottetown harbour last Thursday, and more sightings were reported in the North, Hillsborough and West Rivers over the weekend.

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Catherine Kinsman, co-founder of the Whale Stewardship Project, says that as long as the beluga is healthy and not stuck or in danger, there is no need for intervention by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans or the Marine Animal Response Society.

Kinsman says people can help ensure the whale finds its way home.

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Reporting sightings to the Marine Animal Response Society, a non-profit conservation group, taking pictures from a safe distance of at least 100 metres and sharing the beluga’s location are a few things that can help authorities monitor the animal, Kinsman says.

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Boaters are asked to be particularly careful if they spot the beluga, Kinsman says.