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Critically-endangered North Pacific Right Whale spotted in B.C. waters

Click to play video: 'Ocean sighting of North Pacific Right Whale off Haida Gwaii generates major excitement' Ocean sighting of North Pacific Right Whale off Haida Gwaii generates major excitement
Marine biologists have spotted a critically-endangered Right Whale of the coast of Haida Gwaii, only the fourth sighting in B.C. waters in seven decades. Paul Johnson has the story, and the incredible pictures – Jun 18, 2021

Scientists and conservationists are celebrating the rare sighting of a North Pacific Right Whale on British Columbia’s coast.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers spotted the whale, part of a population listed as critically endangered, off the west coast of Haida Gwaii this week.

Read more: Canadian government modifies North Atlantic right whale protection measures for 2021

Cetacean research technician Jared Towers posted about the sighting on Facebook, saying the “massive creature” was spotted with just one day left in a two-week  excursion.

Click to play video: 'Video captures extremely rare whale swimming in B.C. waters' Video captures extremely rare whale swimming in B.C. waters
Video captures extremely rare whale swimming in B.C. waters – Jun 18, 2021

“The images and samples we collected (under CRP permit) will tell us if it has been seen before in Russia or Alaska, what sex it is (and if female, whether or not it was pregnant) as well as what species of copepod it was feeding on,” he wrote.

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Read more: Vancouver company leads Canadian effort to monitor endangered right whales from space

“It’s been over a century since most of this whale’s ancestors were all harpooned but right whales in the North Pacific are still near the brink of extinction.”

It is just the fourth time a North Pacific Right Whale has been spotted in Canadian waters in seven decades.

There are believed to be just 30 to 50 of the animals left in the eastern pacific.

 

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