North Atlantic Right Whale Found Dead After Washing Ashore in Virginia Beach - Oceana Canada

North Atlantic Right Whale Found Dead After Washing Ashore in Virginia Beach

Press Release Date: February 13, 2023

Media contacts: Lesley Wilmot, Oceana Canada,, 647-5356326; Angela Pinzon, Pilot PMR,, 647-295-0517

Ottawa, traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People – In response to the news of a North Atlantic right whale found washed ashore in Virginia Beach, Oceana released the following statements:

“The loss of any whale is a tragedy. But the loss of yet another North Atlantic right whale is a tragedy that’s all too familiar. There are only around 340 of these critically endangered whales left. Each death brings these whales one step closer to extinction, and saving them can no longer be treated as an annual crisis. They are threatened by human activity, such as entanglements and boat collisions,” said Kim Elmslie, campaign director at Oceana Canada.

“It’s gut-wrenching to hear about another North Atlantic right whale death—this species cannot afford any more punches. Each death sets the species back and makes the road to recovery bleaker for the 340 remaining North Atlantic right whales. Oceana calls on NOAA to quickly release a detailed analysis of this whale’s cause of death and take necessary steps to prevent future deaths of this critically endangered species. We do not have strong enough protections in place to prevent human-caused threats of ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear. In December, Oceana submitted an emergency request to protect these vulnerable whales, and our request was rejected. NOAA is not doing enough to prevent deaths like these. We will continue to have dead North Atlantic right whales wash up on our shores until NOAA does their job,” said Gib Brogan, campaign director at Oceana in the United States.

Oceana Canada was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana Canada has successfully campaigned to end the shark fin trade, make rebuilding depleted fish populations the law, improve the way fisheries are managed and protect marine habitat. We work with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the federal government to return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada’s oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits and protect our future. Find out more at