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Two more North Atlantic right whales have been spotted in Canadian waters, prompting the first season-long closure of a specific fishing area.

Two of the endangered whales were detected on Tuesday by a Fisheries Department aircraft that was conducting right whale aerial surveillance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

As a result, an area east of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine is closed to fishing activities until Nov. 15, while some surrounding areas will close at 5 p.m. on Saturday until further notice.

DFO provided a 72-hour notice because of the weather forecast and to allow time for fishing gear to be removed.

The crab fishing area known as 12F, east of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, remains under a 15-day closure that began after the first whale of the year was spotted in late April.

There are an estimated 366 North Atlantic right whales in existence.

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