Officials and veterinarians are set to investigate the death of a Minke whale after its remains washed up on the shore of Grand Manan Island, N.B.
It’s the second Minke whale to be found dead off the coast of New Brunswick in the past month; the first was found off the coast of Campobello Island earlier in September.
According to the Marine Animal Response Society (MARS), the necropsy was conducted on the adult female whale on Sunday.
“It was a pregnant female,” said Tonya Wimmer, executive director of MARS,
Tests will still have to be run on samples during the necropsy and Wimmer said there were no outward signs for the cause of the whale’s death.
The organization said in a Facebook post that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada had assisted MARS in their investigation.
Wimmer said that it was early to draw any conclusions or recognize any trends based on the deaths of the Minke whales.
“It’s a common species of whale that we get,” Wimmer said. “Now the questions really are about, what is happening to them, is it something natural or something man made? And from there we can understand what more may be done to help them.”
At least 18 right whales died off the coasts of Canada and the United States in 2017. It’s estimated there are roughly 450 right whales left in the world, and with only 100 of them being breeding females, that number is declining.
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No deaths of endangered right whales have been reported in Canadian waters in 2018, although at least two have been found dead off the coast of the United States.
Minke whales have a stable population and are considered to be of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.