Remains of Adult North Atlantic Right Whale Found off the Southwestern Shore of Nova Scotia - Oceana Canada

Remains of Adult North Atlantic Right Whale Found off the Southwestern Shore of Nova Scotia

Press Release Date: May 22, 2024

Media contacts: Vaishali Dassani, Oceana Canada,, 647-294-3335;
Megan Jordan, Oceana in the United States,, 202-868-4061

Ottawa, Canada/ Washington, DC — Oceana was informed by the Marine Animal Response Society that 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.

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.”

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.”


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 ban single-use plastics, 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

 Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-quarter of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 300 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, oil and plastic pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles, whales, and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. VisitOceana.orgto learn more.