Weeks old North Atlantic right whale calf found dead off the coast of North Carolina

Press Release Date: January 10, 2023

Media contacts: Lesley Wilmot, Oceana Canada, lwilmot@oceana.ca, 647-5356326; Angela Pinzon, Pilot PMR, angela.pinzon@pilotpmr.com, 647-295-0517

Ottawa, Traditional, Unceded Territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People – Oceana Canada has issued the following statement in response to the death of a North Atlantic right whale calf.

“We are deeply saddened by the news today of the death of a newborn North Atlantic right whale calf found near Morehead City, North Carolina. A tragedy like this is all too familiar and is further proof that more must be done to protect these critically endangered whales. With only around 340 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, each death is a significant blow to the declining population and pushes it closer to extinction. Each year, pregnant mothers head south to give birth in the warm waters along the coast spanning from South Carolina to central Florida and then return to New England and Canada. It’s clear that during the first few weeks of its life, this calf and its mother were separated. Calves cannot survive long without their mothers. We know that ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are ever-present threats to North Atlantic right whales, and that current safeguards are inadequate. Oceana Canada is calling for the Canadian government to urgently transition to a permanent, predictable, and transparent approach that can adapt to changing circumstances and allow this species to recover in the long-term. Without a change, future preventable deaths are on the hands of the government for failing to do its job.”

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 www.oceana.ca.