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Funeral for whale rescuer Joe Howlett underway
16 July 2017, 05:49 | Justin Tyler
Joe Howlett: Canadian Fisherman Killed by Whale He Rescued
Howlett was killed on Monday after attempting to free a North Atlantic Right Whale entangled in a fishing line off the coast of New Brunswick. "Joe definitely would not want us to stop because of this". In 15 years, he has assisted in over 20 whale rescues.
As quoted by Maine Public Radio, Allied Whale spokeswoman Rosemary Seton believes that the NOAA whale rescue moratorium could be a good thing for the community, as she hopes it would allow those in the community to think of ways to make rescuing whales from entanglements "as safe as possible".
The most risky part of the rescue is after the whale is freed.
Whale disentanglements can take up to an hour and usually require four to five people working together to free the animal.
LeBlanc told CTV News that Ottawa is now investigating Howlett's death. A group of wildlife veterinarians said that several of these whales showed signs of blunt trauma, the National Post reported.
As a result of the accidental death of a veteran whale rescuer in the Canadian Gulf of St. Lawrence on July 10, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is suspending large whale rescue efforts until further notice.
The group said the marks suggest the endangered whale may have collided with a vessel. Earlier, the organization also performed necropsies on two right whales found in Prince Edward Island and determined they also showed signs of blunt trauma.
Currently, there are only about 500 North Atlantic right whales left on the planet and seven were found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence just a week ago. A previous version said the Fisheries Department was halting efforts to untangle large whales.
Howlett was an expert in his field and his death was a devastating tragedy.
"NOAA Fisheries and partners will continue to provide all other stranding response services to marine mammals in distress", said Brogan, as reported by KPBS. According to the U.S. agency, which faces several such cases each year, the intention is to "review the response protocols in light of this event".
NOAA's whale rescue suspension, on the other hand, covers all large whale species, per a statement from the agency's public affairs officer, Kate Brogan.
As well, the government has imposed a partial closure within a nearby snow crab fishing area that whales are known to frequent.
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