2017-2018 North Atlantic Right Whale Unusual Mortality Event
Since June 7, 2017, elevated North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) mortalities began in 2017, primarily in Canada and were declared an Unusual Mortality Event. In 2017, a total of 17 confirmed dead stranded whales (12 in Canada; 5 in the United States), and five live whale entanglements in Canada have been documented. To date in 2018, one whale stranded in the United States bringing the total mortalities to 18 confirmed dead stranded whales (12 in Canada; 6 in the United States).
Causes of the North Atlantic Right Whale UME
Full necropsy examinations have been conducted on 11 of the 18 whales and final results from the examinations are pending. Necropsy results from seven of the Canadian whales can be found online.
As part of the UME investigation process, NOAA assembled an independent team of scientist to coordinate with the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events to review the data collected, sample stranded whales, and determine the next steps for the investigation.
Report a Stranding
The most important step that the public can take to assist investigators is to immediately report any sightings of injured or stranded whales (dead or alive). In the United States, make a report by calling the Greater Atlantic Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at (866) 755-6622 or the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at (877) 433-8299. In Canada, call the Marine Animal Response Society at 1-866-567-6277 or the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network at 1-877-722-5346. You can also contact the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards on VHF Channel 16. Do not approach injured or dead animals.Back to top
- Frequent Questions: 2017 North Atlantic Right Whale UME.
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada.
- Marine Animal Rescue Society, Canada.
- Donate to the Unusual Mortality Event Contingency Fund.
- Unusual Mortality Events.
- Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.
- Marine Mammal Protection.