The carcass of a humpback whale was found near Klemtu last week.
Paul Cottrell is the Pacific Marine Mammal Coordinator for DFO.
He says they received the call late last week telling them about the whale.
Cottrell says he and Dr. Stephen Raverty were able to quickly reach the whale to conduct a necropsy, and take samples in order to determine the cause of death.
While they strongly suspect the humpback got entangled, they won’t know for sure until results from the necropsy are ready in a few weeks.
The female humpback was about 10-metres long, and was a sub-adult.
He says there has been a spike in whale deaths along southeast Alaska, so they’ll also be investigating any potential links.
Cottrell gives particular praise to the Kitasoo Guardian Watchmen for finding, reporting, and then securing the carcass.
Caitlin Birdsall is with the Vancouver Aquarium’s North Coast Initiative in Prince Rupert.
She says if someone comes across an entangled whale, don’t try to free it, but to report it and stay by the animal if possible.
The seriousness of the entanglement depends on how and where the whale is entangled, and can be difficult to tell if a whale is in distress.
The BC Marine Mammal Response network hotline is 1-800-465-4336, and is open 24/7.