The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shared a sighting of a North Pacific Right Whale feeding off the coast of Haida Gwaii.
A tweet from the DFO said the sighting of the whale on Tuesday is only the fourth confirmed sighting of this rare whale in Canadian waters since 1951.
They say three of the sightings have taken place in the last eight years.
— DFO Pacific (@DFO_Pacific) June 15, 2021
According to the DFO, the North Pacific Right Whale is an endangered species with estimates of less than 50 eastern North Pacific Right Whales in the Bering Sea — the only known area where they’re seen more regularly.
“It’s been over a century since most of this whale’s ancestors were all harpooned,” wrote a post by researcher Jared Towers. “But Right Whales in the North Pacific are still near the brink of extinction.”
Towers and fellow researcher James Pilkington were in the area collecting images of the whale for identification. Towers’ post said the images will be used to see if the whale had been seen before in Alaska or Russia and to identify its sex.
The federal government says Right Whales in the Atlantic are at risk to be caught in fishing nets and being struck by ships, they believe the same issues likely face North Pacific Right Whales.