On the afternoon of Friday, July 10, the GREMM team aboard the Bleuvet, while tracking belugas offshore, had a surprising encounter with a North Atlantic right whale near Île Rouge in the middle of the St. Lawrence Estuary.

The team took several photos of the animal to be sent to the New England Aquarium team to attempt to make a match. Photo-identification is notably based on the pattern of parasite-covered skin growths that every right whale has on its head.

A North Atlantic right whale had been seen in the Estuary in early June. Nothing suggests that this is the same individual. Other right whale sightings have been made in the Gulf of St. Lawrence since the beginning of summer.

With a critical threshold of a population estimated at around 500 individuals, this species is endangered. If you observe one, please maintain a distance of at least 400 m.

To learn more:

about the North Atlantic right whale

Observation of the Week - 10/7/2015

Marie-Sophie Giroux

Marie-Sophie Giroux joined the GREMM in 2005 until 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a diploma in Environmental Consulting. As Lead Naturalist, she oversees and coordinates the team working at the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre and writes for Whales Online and Whale Portraits. She loves to share “whale stories” with visitors to the CIMM and readers alike.

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