Six right whales found dead in northeast Canada

Published on
June 29, 2017

Officials in Canada have confirmed the deaths of at least five North Atlantic right whales, a species whose status as critically endangered has caused the lobster and crab fishing sector in Canada and the Northeast United States to take expensive precautions to avoid entanglements.

Eyewitness accounts put the death toll at six whales

Scientists studying the whale deaths, which all occurred near the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence north of Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, are pointing to toxic algae as a potential cause, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. However, officials from Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have not yet ruled out entanglement in fishing gear or ship strikes as possible factors, either, the CBC reported.

Laurie Murison of the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station called the deaths “catastrophic for the species.

"This year with having only five calves born and having six die, you're actually going backwards with the population,'" she told CBC.

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