Skip to main content

A North Atlantic right whale is seen in a March 28, 2018, file photo.

Michael Dwyer/The Associated Press

A new report says vessel strikes caused almost half the deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year.

The report by the Marine Animal Response Society and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative says necropsies were done on five of the nine whales found dead between June and July 2019.

Vessel strikes were found to be the most likely cause of death in four of the animals, while the cause of death of the fifth could not be determined.

Story continues below advertisement

Necropsies could not be performed on the remaining four whales and their cause of death remains unknown.

With only about 400 individuals remaining and the population in decline, the North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species.

In the last five years, 25 right whales have died in Canadian waters.

Tonya Wimmer, executive director of the Marine Animal Response Society, said efforts to study the whales and reduce threats to the population have fallen short.

“Recovery efforts for this species in Canada are not going in the right direction – whales are still dying at an alarming rate and the population is in decline. More needs to be done,” Wimmer said in a statement.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies