Whale kills Canada fisherman moments after he rescues it from fishing net

12 July, 2017, 20:14 | Author: Becky Perry
  • England Aquarium Right Whale Research Blog by Marianna Hagbloom

Howlett had previously saved some two dozen whales over the past 15 years, making use of his deep knowledge of knots and ropes to set the massive mammals free.

In a 2013 interview, Howlett had told CBC Mainstreet, that rescuing whales is "not a scary situation".

"We were deeply shocked to hear the news", the Center for Coastal Studies said in a statement. His death highlights the critical situation whales now face and the risks associated with this work.

Mackie Green of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team said Howlett had boarded a Fisheries Department vessel off Shippagan on Monday to help cut lines from a North Atlantic right whale that had become entangled in a heavy snarl of rope. "This is something he loved and there's no better feeling than getting a whale untangled, and I know how good he was feeling after cutting that whale clear". He had reportedly freed another whale just days earlier.

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According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, almost three-quarters of all known North Atlantic right whales have scars from past entanglements with commercial fishing gear.

Previous media reports said toxic algae may have also played a role in the deaths, which the Marine Animal Response Society called "unprecedented", as that total represents about one percent of the estimated 525 endangered Northern Atlantic right whales remaining on the planet. A spokesman said: "Taking part in whale rescue operations requires enormous bravery and a passion for the welfare of marine mammals. He was a great fella and he really cared about the whales", Green added.

In other news, marine mammal experts have determined that at least two of the endangered right whales found dead in Canada's eastern waters in June experienced severe blunt trauma, likely as the result of boat strikes.

"He did it for years, he was good at it and had a lot of successes", Campobello Island Mayor Stephen Smart told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "Everybody knew Joe Howlett and everybody respected Joe Howlett". News, of Howlett. "I'm sure for him, I'm sure it was just another day at work".

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