Scientists suspect that the ships' strike killed the north Atlantic whale known as the comet

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Scientists have determined that the third North Atlantic whale died in Canadian waters this month was killed by blunt trauma, in line with a naval strike.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has released preliminary results of the autopsy on Saturday night, in anticipation of three more tests.

Comet was one of the six right-wing whales of the North Atlantic in danger of extinction found dead in the Gulf of San Lorenzo this year.

It was thought that Grandpa's whale was about 33 years old.

Necropsy was performed Friday in Norway, at P.E.I., by the Marine Animal Response Society, DFO, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Atlantic Veterinary College, the province and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Pathologists have discovered that Comet's wounds are "highly compatible with death due to blunt trauma".

Necropsies on the first whale came back inconclusive, while the second death was also determined as a naval strike.

This week, Transport Canada implemented ship speed restrictions on two navigation routes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

On Monday, researchers will examine the sixth whale on the Gaspé peninsula, a woman known as Clipper. The DFO is examining the options for necropsy of the other two whales.

There were no right whale deaths recorded in Canadian waters last year, but 12 were found dead in Canadian waters in 2017.

The necropsies of seven of them found four deaths due to a consistent trauma with ship collisions, while two deaths are the result of an entanglement in fishing equipment.

The entire right whale population of the North Atlantic is reduced to around 400.

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