**Updated** Fisheries Department suspends some whale rescues following rescuer death

**Updated at 6:45 a.m.**

Federal officials are halting efforts to free North Atlantic right whales trapped in fishing gear following the recent death of a whale rescuer in New Brunswick.

Fisheries spokesman Vance Chow says the department is reviewing how it responds to whale entanglements and until that review is complete, it is pausing efforts free North Atlantic right whales.

The department said efforts to untangle other whales will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The move comes a day after an American agency said it was halting efforts to free large whales.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which responds to marine mammals in distress, said it was conducting its own review of emergency response protocols.

Joe Howlett was killed Monday after freeing a North Atlantic right whale that had been entangled in fishing gear near Shippagan, N.B.