400

North Atlantic Right Whale

North America

400

Eubalaena glacialis

Endangered

  • Death by entanglement to gillnets and fishing lines
  • Inability to reproduce due to persistent man made noise
  • Death by ship collision

The North Atlantic Right Whale, a member of the genus Eubalaena, is a baleen whale that once inhabited the coastal waters or continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean.

As one of the most seriously exploited of all large whales since the 10th century, its remaining population is believed to be currently found only in the east coast of the U.S. and Canada.

The main threat to its existence is the prevalence of gillnets and fishing lines left on the ocean floor. When right whales get caught in the loops, this causes severe injuries that often lead to a painful death.

As major ports become established along the Atlantic seaboard, this also makes the right whales vulnerable to vessel strikes. Furthermore, all the noise created by ships (including from sonar activities and oil drilling activities) disrupts its normal behaviour which makes it difficult to communicate, rest, and reproduce.