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A file photo of a North Atlantic right whale. Image: DFO/Dr. Andrew J. Wright

Entangled North Atlantic right whale spotted

By Brad Perry May 13, 2024 | 12:49 PM

A North Atlantic right whale with gear entangled around its mouth has been spotted in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada said the whale was observed on Friday northeast of New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula and northwest of the Magdalen Islands

Officials said preliminary identification matches the description of an adult female whale known as EG4510 – Shelagh.

It is the first sighting of a North Atlantic right whale in Canadian waters so far this season.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Marine Mammal Response Program will continue to monitor the situation to determine response options with our partners,” the department said in a news release.

“If the whale is located again, and weather and sea conditions allow, efforts will be made to attempt disentanglement.”

Officials said it is unclear what type of gear the whale is engangled in or where it came from.

Identification of the gear is typically only confirmed after investigation and, when possible, when the gear is removed from the whale.