NOAA halts large whale rescues after death of Canadian rescuer

Posted July 14, 2017

The man, Joe Howlett, was the founder of Campobello Whale Rescue and was also a lobster fisherman, Fox News reported. Mr Conway was not on the boat but he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the whale was swimming clear of the lines when Mr Howlett was killed. In a statement, they called Howlett a "long-time and beloved colleague... who courageously rescued whales and bridged both the fishing and scientific communities".

"Nobody has suggested to me the shipping and the fishing industry don't want to partner with us to take every possible measure to minimize the contact with these whales", LeBlanc said.

"Taking part in whale rescue operations requires vast bravery and a passion for the welfare of marine mammals", Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said in a statement Tuesday as cited by The Guardian.

The DFO is working with mammal experts, scientists and fisheries officials across Atlantic Canada to investigate the deaths of at least five endangered right whales off Canada's eastern coast recently.

A fisherman in Canada was struck and killed by a whale that he had helped rescue from a fishing line off New Brunswick on Monday, July 10.

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'He's going to be sorely missed by the community and he was an integral part of a very unique group of fishermen here on the island who were involved in doing the disentanglements, ' Conway said.

"Mr Howlett's notable experience and contribution to whale rescue include his very recent and critical role in successfully freeing an entangled whale on July 5". He said Howlett's skills with the knots and ropes used in fishing made him a good candidate for rescuing animals from entanglement. He was captaining a research boat studying the whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence. In the past month, seven right whale carcasses have been found floating in the Gulf. Injuries on the other two were consistent with ship strikes, researchers said.

Joe co-founded Campobello Whale Rescue Team and had helped save dozens of trapped whales. He told CBC News: "There's only 850 people here on Campobello Island now and Joe was a very lively character, he had a great sense of humour".

"The whole island's in mourning here", said Green. Joe was the life of the party. He was always upbeat, laughing, telling jokes so the whole island's at a desperate loss, ' Green said.