Crews search Gulf of St. Lawrence for North Atlantic right whales, disentanglement under consideration


Fisheries and Oceans Canada and its partners are actively looking for the three entangled North Atlantic right whales reported recently in waters off the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Campobello Whale Rescue Team will be working from the Acadian Peninsula this week in order to quickly intervene when an entangled North Atlantic right whale is found.

According to DFO, finding these specific whales is a difficult task in the immensity of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as they are still able to swim and will have changed position from the last time they were seen.

WATCH: (July 6, 2019) Three more North Atlantic right whales entangled off Eastern Canada

Three more North Atlantic right whales entangled off Eastern Canada
Three more North Atlantic right whales entangled off Eastern Canada

Also, there are no high visibility buoys attached to them and the ropes are not clearly visible below the surface. North Atlantic right whales are also known to spend a great amount of time under the water, which could also coincide with the aerial surveillance pass-over.

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DFO also said marine weather conditions were not ideal over the weekend and continues to cause some difficulty in re-locating the whales.

Aerial and at-sea surveillance is underway in an effort to monitor these particular whales and get a better sense of their entanglements.

READ MORE: New measures announced to protect North Atlantic right whales

DFO, Transport Canada and NOAA planes are busy trying to locate the three whales. As well, DFO’s Fishery officers and the New England Aquarium have boats on the water trying to locate the whales.

“With our partners, we are considering options for attaching tracking buoys to the ropes on these whales, if the ropes are long enough to permit crews to do so safely. The safety and security of our employees and the crews of any of our partners, including disentanglement experts, is paramount,” said DFO in a press release.

Attempts at disentanglements will only be considered if they can be done in a safe manner. Right whales are among the most difficult marine mammals to disentangle due to their size, strength and behaviour.

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