Canadian fisherman killed by whale as he cut it from rope tangle

  • Canadian fisherman killed by whale as he cut it from rope tangle

Canadian fisherman killed by whale as he cut it from rope tangle

He had successfully managed to free the whale - only to be struck by it moments later, local publication paper Medicine Hat News reported. Though the giant marine animals could be unpredictable when trapped, for Howlett, setting a whale free was worth the painstaking, unsafe work, friends said.

"Joe's dedication to saving entangled whales was as deep as his love of fishing", Kraus said.

He died after rescuing a right whale entangled in fishing gear from a Department of Fisheries vessel near Shippagan, N.B. The whale hit Mr. Howlett as it burst free and swam away.

I am mindful of the other individuals who were on board the vessel at the time this tragic incident occurred.

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc says more needs to be done to protect right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the lives of those trying to save them. 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.

"They got the whale totally disentangled and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip", Mackie Green of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team told the Canadian press.

"Joe definitely would not want us to stop because of this".

Jerry Conway, an adviser with the whale-rescue group, told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

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. "DFO's Conservation and Protection officers and the Canadian Coast Guard took part in responding to the situation". He was apparently onboard a government response boat helping the Department of Fisheries with an entrapment. Howlett had been part of that operation.

The veteran fisherman and the rest of the team were no strangers to the risks of whale rescues.

Whale rescue attempts typically involve the use of poles with cutting implements to free the whale from tangled lines, and rescuers do not get in the water during the operations.

"He was also a valued and respected member of his Campobello Island community".

Joe Howlett, R.I.P. He was a good man, doing what he thought was right.