Bp017 (Orion), Bp913, Bp945 and Bp918
From the bulletin Portrait de baleines, July-30-15
They can be told apart by the shape of their dorsal fin. Bp913 (Portrait de baleines 2015, Volume 1) has a generic dorsal fin in the form of an elongated hook, with no particular markings. Bp918’s dorsal is clipped in a straight line while Orion’s (Bp017, Volume 3, Portrait de baleines 2015) is truncated toward the top and bottom. Bp945 has a triangular fin with no conspicuous markings.
Bp945 was tagged by the GREMM-Fisheries and Oceans Canada team on July 22 at 2:45 pm. The radio tag held firm on the animal’s back a little less than an hour. On average, the animal dived to depths of between 60 and 70 m, with a maximum of 123 m. Bp913 was also monitored on July 13. On July 29, Orion was tracked for 40 minutes, while Bp945 was monitored for 20 hours. In the past few days, two new individuals have been photographed by the GREMM: Cayman (Bp034) and Bp910.
According to monitoring data (2007), the population of North Atlantic fin whales is estimated at more than 50,000 individuals. In Canada, the most common areas are off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the GREMM, MICS (Mingan Island Cetacean Study) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada maintain research efforts, including photo-identification and telemetry. The North Atlantic fin whale is not endangered. Nevertheless, its status in Canada is “Special Concern”. Whaling, which ended in 1972, had taken a considerable toll on the number of fin whales on the Canadian East Coast and particularly on the Scotian Shelf. The lack of knowledge on this species justifies the “Special Concern” status.