Featured Image: Andersen Cabot Center For Ocean Life
In 2016, Clipper the whale was spotted with her calf by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The healthy female had given birth to a calf but the pair was struggling to leave the shallow water. As they drifted closer to shore, everyone was worried that the calf would not survive. However, the pair eventually made it back out to sea and continued their journey.
Unfortunately, Clipper died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence earlier this year after being hit by a ship. Clipper is one of six North Atlantic Right Whales that have died in Canada this summer.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials, say, “given the vulnerability of the North Atlantic right whales to extinction, recent news from Canada on the deaths of six North Atlantic right whales along with two new entanglements has alarmed conservation leaders. With fewer than 100 breeding females left in the population, and only 7 right whale calves sighted during the 2019 calving season, preventing right whale deaths is of vital importance.”
The total population of North Atlantic right whales continues to dwindle each year, bringing the species perilously close to complete extinction. Their plight stems from decades of unrestrained whaling operations that left the population in shambles. Although Canada has speed regulations and fishing management strategies in place to protect the whales, researchers and activists hope that more stringent regulations will be put in place to further protect the endangered species.