Further testing needed to determine cause of whale death in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the death of a right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was not the result of a recent vessel strike or entanglement in fishing gear.

A necropsy was conducted Friday on the shores of Miscou Island in New Brunswick.

The nine-year-old male known as "Wolverine'' was towed there after his carcass was discovered in the Gulf earlier in the week.

In recent years most right whale deaths have been attributed to being struck by ships or becoming entangled in fishing gear.

In a statement issued Saturday, the department says further testing will be done to determine other possible causes of the whale's death.

Major efforts have been made to limit fishing gear when the whales are present, and there are now mandatory speed restrictions for vessels 20 metres or longer when travelling in the western Gulf.