The Latest: US, Canada to collaborate on whale investigation
Posted August 25
PORTLAND, Maine — The Latest on an investigation into a spate of endangered right whale deaths in the U.S. and Canada (all times local):
Marine authorities in the U.S. and Canada say they will marshal resources to try to find out what's behind a string of deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales.
Representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the effort on Friday. David Gouveia of NOAA says the countries will collaborate on a report about why 13 of the whales have been found dead this year.
The report could help craft future regulations that protect the vulnerable whales. Officials with both countries say ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear have played roles in the deaths of the whales.
Officials say the report will take months to assemble. It will involve collecting data on each whale that died and considering factors such as changes to the environment and habitat.
Federal officials plan to provide more details on their investigation into the recent deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales.
The whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world. Only about 500 right whales exist.
At least 13 right whales were found dead this year off New England and Canada. Authorities and conservationists say some of the whales died due to ship strikes or fishing gear entanglement.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared the deaths an "unusual mortality event" and is launching the investigation.
Representatives from NOAA Fisheries and from Fisheries and Oceans Canada plan to provide more details Friday.