North Atlantic Right Whale Found Dead In Gulf Of St. Lawrence

Newborn North Atlantic right whale calf and mother off the coast of Florida. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

After a very successful spring of calf births for the North Atlantic right whale, devastating news is coming out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence revealing that a dead right whale has been found. A dead North Atlantic right whale has been found drifting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada said in a media release the dead whale was spotted during an aerial surveillance flight on June 4. 

“We are working with the Marine Animal Response Society (MARS), the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to find the whale and try to recover it,” reads the release. 

The next step would be to install a satellite tag on the animal to assist in the recovery. If the animal is recovered, a necropsy would be performed to try and determine the death of the animal.

The endangered species has seen total their total population plummet due to a variety of concerns with the most common cause of death being struck by ship or boat. The species migrate from the southern coast of the United States in the winter to the colder and rich waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the summer where boat strikes have been a major concern.

The Canadian government recently put in place tight restrictions when fishing is and is not allowed in the Gulf to help protect the whale species after 12 whales were found dead in 2017

This is the first right whale death reported in 2019. Today, only about 450 North Atlantic right whales remain in the seas.

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