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Necropsy scheduled for Tuesday on right whale carcass found off New Brunswick

Last Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 8:41 am EDT

MISCOU ISLAND, N.B. – The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says a necropsy will be performed Tuesday on the carcass of a North Atlantic right whale located late last week off the coast of New Brunswick.

The department says the carcass has been recovered and towed to Miscou Island for the necropsy.

Eleven right whales have died since June in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, an unprecedented number of deaths for the endangered marine mammal.

Conservation groups and marine scientists have warned the North Atlantic right whale is at imminent risk of extinction with an estimated population of 500 around the world.

The department said last week it wasn’t known if the right whale located Friday morning in the Miscou Island area was the same one spotted off Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula entangled in fishing ropes.

Officials said last month they spotted the whale entangled in fishing ropes during a fly-over of the area, but aerial and water patrols were unable later to locate it.