North Atlantic right whale calf apparently killed after being struck by boat
MONTREAL -- The first North Atlantic right whale calf to be born this season was found dead in the United States.
The American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the carcass of the young male was found last Friday off Monmouth Beach in New Jersey, a few kilometres south of New York.
Preliminary observations of the carcass suggest that the young cetacean was killed by a collision with a boat.
If true, it will be the second whale that has been killed in recent months by a boat; a humpback whale that swam to Montreal was apparently hit and killed by a boat at the beginning of June.
The North Atlantic right whale is an endangered species. There are only about 400 of them and these marine mammals are vulnerable during collisions with ships or when they become entangled in fishing nets.
Since June 2017, at least 30 of these animals have died.
The recently deceased calf was one of 10 hatchlings seen since the start of the 2019-2020 season.
North Atlantic right whales have been returning to Canadian waters for about two months. Two of these marine mammals were sighted in early May in the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence by the crew of a Fisheries and Oceans Canada plane doing aerial observation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020.
-With reporting from CTV News.