Third Right Whale Carcass Sighted in Three Weeks

Third Right Whale Carcass Sighted in Three Weeks

Main pic: North Pacific Right Whale. Photo credit: John Durban.

Gaspé (Quebec) 21 July 2015 – The Gulf of St. Lawrence has seen three Right Whale carcasses floating in its waters in the last three weeks and according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada it is an alarming number considering the small population of this particular species of whale. The last reported sighting of a dead whale in the Gulf was back in 2001.

On June 24, the first dead whale was seen off the coast of Percé. The carcass was recuperated and will be studied to find the cause of death. On July 7th, another was spotted off the coast of the Magdalen Islands, and just last week on July 13 a third floating whale was seen off the coast of the town of Gaspé. The last one sighted has been given a number and has been identified as a six-year old female.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada together with the Quebec Network for marine mammals rescue want to bring the carcasses ashore to study the cause or causes of death. The North Atlantic Right Whale is on the endangered species list and there are only about 350 of that particular breed still left in the oceans along the east coast of North America.

Because the species is on the point of extinction, the researchers want to know why these particular whales perished in this particular area.

The most common causes of death to whales is either being caught-up in old fishing nets or being hit and wounded by the propellers of large ships.

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