Remains of Adult North Atlantic Right Whale Found off the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia - Oceana USA

Remains of Adult North Atlantic Right Whale Found off the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia

Press Release Date: May 22, 2024



Megan Jordan | email: | tel: 202.868.4061

The remains of an adult North Atlantic right whale were found approximately 140 kilometres (75 nautical miles) off the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. So far, only photos of the right whale’s tail and some of its lower body were documented by a Transport Canada aerial surveillance team. Experts identified the animal as a North Atlantic right whale, however, a cause of death has not been determined as the carcass has not been recovered.

Reaction from Gib Brogan, campaign director for Oceana in the United States:
“The North Atlantic right whale carcasses are adding up and possible extinction is getting closer. It’s deeply concerning to see yet another dead critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, this time off the shores of Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, due to its deteriorated state, scientists may not be able to conclusively determine the cause of death or the identity of this whale. But what is already proven is that far too many North Atlantic right whales are dying because of boat strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. The last population estimate released in 2023 said there are around 356 of these whales left on Earth, and we’ve watched many whales wash up on our shores since then. Each death is a devastating blow to their recovery. The U.S. and Canadian governments must act now to save North Atlantic right whales from extinction, while they still have the chance. Continued delays result in more whale deaths like this one and the potential extinction of an entire species. President Biden can and must approve the proposed updates to the U.S. vessel speed rules immediately, and stronger protections against entanglements must be enacted.”

Below is Oceana Canada’s response from campaign director Kim Elmslie:
“The gruesome discovery of this latest North Atlantic right whale is another devastating loss to the species. This winter has been especially hard on the population with at least five calves and one juvenile whale dead or presumed dead and the first right whale sighted in Canadian waters having a severe entanglement.

To save this population from extinction, it is imperative that the government implement permanent vessel slowdowns along the entire migration route of right whales. Additionally, transitioning swiftly to ropeless and on-demand fishing gear is crucial to reduce the risk of entanglements, while also preserving access to U.S. markets for Canadian fisheries. This is not the time to weaken any of the existing measures that are in place. With only 356 North Atlantic whales remaining the government must prioritize their protection before this species is lost forever.”