Fisherman killed saving whale recalled as longtime advocate

Fisherman killed saving whale recalled as longtime advocate

Fisherman killed saving whale recalled as longtime advocate

The NOAA has suspended large whale disentanglement efforts after the accidental death of a veteran rescuer.

At the time of his death, Howlett, a former boat captain and fisherman, was in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence, freeing a right whale, a species whose population is dwindling, with only about 500 left in the Northern Atlantic.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has chose to halt large whale entanglement rescue efforts after accidental death of a veteran whale rescuer Joe Howlett.

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A funeral for a New Brunswick man who died rescuing a whale on Monday is underway on Campobello Island.

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. However, he was accidentally struck by the animal just as he was swimming away.

"They got the whale totally disentangled, and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip", Mick Green, a rescue team member, told United Press International.

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Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic Leblanc is also in attendance. "There are serious risks involved with any disentanglement attempt". The government entity lists entanglement in fishing equipment as one of the greatest threats to right whales, with an estimated 75 percent of these whales becoming entangled at some point in their lifetimes.

Howlett was an experienced rescuer who was able to use his years of experience working as a lobster fisherman in his commitment to save entangled whales.

According to Howlett's teammate, Mackie Green, disentangling whales was something that Howlett loved and that he would not have wanted the team's efforts to stop.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's whale rescue efforts have been temporarily put on hold, following the death of a longtime Canadian emergency responder during a rescue operation earlier in the week. She continued by saying NOAA Fisheries and their partners will continue to respond to all other marine mammals that are in distress.

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