There has been a lot of interest recently with regards to what caused the deaths of six North Atlantic right whales recently found floating lifeless in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With approx. 525 North Atlantic right whales left and now losing six is particularly concerning because birth figures are on the decline – only five calves born this year. In a complex operation, approximately 30 people from various organizations assisted with three whale necropsies – the remaining marine mammals were in an advanced state of decomposition.
Preliminary findings suggest two of the male whales suffered blunt trauma, most likely from a vessel big enough or going fast enough that it would cause the bruising and internal injuries found. However, it is too early to state with certainty the cause of deaths and the complete results will take 6-8 weeks as scientists await results from testing on the tissue samples obtained during the necropsies.