More endangered right whales spotted in Canadian waters, some fishing areas closed

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FREDERICTON — Two more North Atlantic right whales have been spotted in Canadian waters, prompting the first season-long closure of a specific fishing area.

Two of the endangered whales were detected on Tuesday by a Fisheries Department aircraft that was conducting right whale aerial surveillance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

As a result, an area east of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine is closed to fishing activities until Nov. 15, while some surrounding areas will close at 5 p.m. on Saturday until further notice.

DFO provided a 72-hour notice because of the weather forecast and to allow time for fishing gear to be removed.

The crab fishing area known as 12F, east of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, remains under a 15-day closure that began after the first whale of the year was spotted in late April.

There are an estimated 366 North Atlantic right whales in existence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press