Poor weather hampers search for entangled North Atlantic right whales

Right Whale

Search and rescue efforts were abandoned Wednesday because of poor weather conditions in the hunt for three endangered North Atlantic right whales spotted last week entangled in ropes.

One of them was spotted by the Canadian Coast Guard east of Miscou in New Brunswick with a rope around its tail and thought to be dragging something heavy.

The two others were seen in other locations, one east of Gaspe, Quebec, and another east of Miscou.

Martin Haulena, head veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, says disentanglement techniques can be quite successful if rescuers can get to the whales.

But he says it's a complicated and possibly dangerous process, and is ``very weather dependent.''

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans acknowledges that locating these three whales is a challenging task.

It hopes to resume at-sea and aerial surveillance this morning.