determine right whale died from ship strike in bay
Scientists were beginning a study of a dead right whale's final movements
Wednesday after determining it died from a lethal ship strike in the Bay of
Researchers from two American marine science
organizations want to piece together the endangered whale's travel route before
it was found last Saturday in waters off the tip of southwestern Nova Scotia.
They're hoping that if they can identify the area, they
might be able to introduce restrictions that could prevent further deaths of
the mammals, which only number about 300 worldwide.
might have to consider putting some mandatory speed conditions in the Bay of
Fundy or having a lookout posted on the bow of a ship," Jerry Conway, a marine
mammals adviser for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said Wednesday.
"Certainly we have to look at what our management
opportunities are to further mitigate ship strikes. We are confirming that this
whale died from a ship strike."
Michael Moore, a research
scientist with the Woods Hole Institution in Massachusetts, said a complex
hydrographic study analyzing the whale's drift patterns might identify where it
was struck by a passing vessel.
The examination will take
currents and tides into consideration in figuring out where the 50-tonne whale,
believed to be an adult female, was killed.
fishing dragger recovered the 13.5-metre-long carcass and took it to shore in
Digby, N. S. A necropsy was conducted Sunday by experts from the University of
Prince Edward Island's veterinary college.
and humpbacks travel each summer to the Bay of Fundy to dine on the area's rich
supply of plankton. Many mothers bring their young calves to the area for the
Aside from ship strikes, the other big killer of
whales along the eastern seaboard are getting caught in webs of floating ropes