ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Federal officials have confirmed that the huge carcass found floating in pack ice off western Newfoundland is that of a blue whale.

The federal Fisheries Department says the female whale was first spotted near Fischells, N.L., several weeks ago.

Fisheries officials identified the remains after reviewing images captured by a camera-equipped drone flying more than three kilometres from shore.

The blue whale is considered a species at risk.

The largest animal in the world by weight, adult blue whales can exceed 180 tonnes and more than 25 metres in length.