Carcass recovery network

Reading the carcasses

When a whale dies, its carcass is often carried by the currents and tides and can wash up on the beach. Scientists study these carcasses in order to know the pollutants and diseases that pose a threat to the health of the whales. Along the St. Lawrence, report beached marine mammals to the  at 1-877-7baleine (1-877-722-5346). If it is a marine mammal, a team will be mobilized to the location to assess the state of the carcass and take measurements and samples.

  • Taking samples from a newborn beluga at Les Bergeronnes, 2013
  • Crédit : © GREMM

If it is a beluga and the carcass is fresh, it will be transported by truck to the Université de Montréal’s faculty of veterinary medicine (FMV) in Saint-Hyacinthe. A detailed necropsy (see the video of a necropsy of a beluga whale) and chemical analyses will do wonders to shed light on the causes of the animal’s death and its exposure to pollution.

  • Récupération d’une carcasse de béluga, Tadoussac, 2004
  • Crédit : © GREMM