Endangered whale found dead in “horrific” discovery.

A survey team found the remains of an endangered North Atlantic right whale 75 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, earlier this month in a “horrifying” discovery that has a conservation organization calling for action before the species disappear.

The Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) discovered the carcass on May 12 after a Transport Canada aerial surveillance team identified a partial whale carcass offshore. MARS staff reviewed the video from the surveillance team and identified the remains as belonging to an endangered North Atlantic right whale. In 2023, it was estimated that there were only about 356 whales left.

Unfortunately, when MARS went to the area to retrieve the animal and determine the cause of its death, the whale was gone. Experts were unable to determine how, when or where the whale died, according to a MARS Facebook post. However, the news has prompted Oceana, an international conservation organization dedicated to ocean conservation, to urge governments to take action to protect the species from extinction.

North Atlantic right whale
A North Atlantic right whale. One of the endangered whales was found dead off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

“The horrific discovery of this North Atlantic right whale is another devastating loss for the species,” Oceana Canada Campaign Director Kim Elmslie said in a press release sent Newsweek.

“This winter has been particularly difficult for the population with at least five calves and one juvenile whale dead or presumed dead and the first right whale seen in Canadian waters in severe entanglement.”

Elmslie continued to advocate for the mandatory slowing down of vessels along right-of-way whale migration paths and purse seiners.

Whales have been protected from whaling for nearly a century, but they still face threats from the human population due to ship strikes and entanglement with fishing gear.

The species’ population has been declining for years. An Oceana spokesperson said Newsweek that since 2017, there has been an unusual increase in the deaths of right whales in the US and Canada, almost exclusively from human causes.

“The carcasses of North Atlantic right whales are piling up and potential extinction is looming,” said Gib Brogan, US director of the Ocean Campaign, in a press release. “It is deeply disturbing to see another critically endangered North Atlantic right whale dead, this time off the coast of Nova Scotia.”

“Every death is a devastating blow to their recovery,” Brogan added. “The US 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 and the possible extinction of an entire species. President [Joe] Biden can and should immediately approve proposed updates to U.S. vessel speed regulations, and stronger anti-tampering protections should be enacted.”