Canada Fisherman Killed By Whale After Rescuing It From Net

Statement from Minister Dominic LeBlanc on the Recent Death Related to a Whale Rescue Effort

However, tragedy struck Monday when Howlett was killed in an operation to free a trapped North Atlantic right whale off the coast of New Brunswick, according to a statement by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Friends and co-workers estimate that Howlett had saved over two dozen whales entangled in nets in the last 15 years, something he did with a fierce passion.

In an interview with UPI, rescue team member Mick Green said, "Joe definitely would not want us to stop because of this".

"His expertise and dedication will be greatly missed", LeBlanc said. He helped rescue another North Atlantic Right Whale in the region days before his death. Mr. Howlett's notable experience and contribution to whale rescue include his very recent and critical role in successfully freeing an entangled whale on July 5.

Daoust said the Canadian coast guard and industry need to look at preventing its "negative interactions" with right whales along the Atlantic coast of Canada and the U.S. With their total population estimated at a mere 525 animals, right whales are considered one of the most endangered species in the world.

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Joe Howlett, who was killed Monday after disentangling a right whale from snow crab gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is pictured with his son Tyler Howlett.

"This is something he loved and there's no better feeling than getting a whale untangled, and I know how good he was feeling after cutting that whale clear".

LeBlanc added that any disentanglement attempt carries serious risks, and whales can be unpredictable.

Joe Howlett, a lobsterman, boat captain, and certified whale disentanglement expert, had worked previously as the captain of the M/V Shelagh, a Canadian Whale Institute vessel that conducted joint field surveys with the aquarium, the Boston institution said in a statement.

Mackie Green, founder of the rescue team, said: "They... Everybody knew Joe Howlett and everybody respected Joe Howlett", said Mayor Stephen Smart.

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Friends say the death will be keenly felt on the small island of about 850 people, where Howlett was known for his humour, big laugh and generosity.

The move comes in response to a number of deaths to endangered whales and the death of Joe Howlett, a whale rescuer.

"He was a great fella and he really cared about the whales", he said.

Joe Howlett, R.I.P. He was a good man, doing what he thought was right.

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