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Latest efforts fail to remove fishing gear from two endangered right whales

Campobello Whale Rescue Program members attempt to remove fishing gear from a North Atlantic right whale named Snow Cone in this handout image on Thursday, July 8, 2021. The New Brunswick-based whale-rescue team is dealing with two North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that are entangled in fishing gear. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Campobello Whale Rescue Program *MANDATORY CREDIT*. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Campobello Whale Rescue Program

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the most recent efforts to disentangle a pair of endangered North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear were unsuccessful.

The department said today in an email members of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team searched for a five-year-old male whale that was recently spotted entangled in gear but were unable to locate the animal.

Read more: Two endangered right whales entangled in fishing gear in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The group said last week the first entangled North Atlantic right whale reported in Canadian waters since 2019 appeared badly injured.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says another entangled whale, named Snow Cone, was spotted over the weekend but the team was unable to track the animal.

Read more: New underwater glider to help scientists track movements of endangered right whales

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The department says efforts will continue to locate both whales and to attempt to disentangle them from fishing gear if possible.

Since June 2017, an unusually large number of the whales have died, reducing the population to fewer than 400 animals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2021.

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