Danielle Dion is the Senior Naturalist for Quoddy Link Marine going on 16 years and knows a thing or two about Right Whales. At the time this interview was recorded, 11 dead Right Whales had been discovered off the north-east coast of North America. With only 520 North Atlantic Right Whales in existence, this 2% decline in their numbers over the past five weeks is a wake-up call for everyone who has an interest in these waters. Why and what needs to happen is the focus this week on Blue Fish Radio.
According to Stephanie Sardelis, Marine Mammalogist for Oceana Canada, North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered animals on earth. Historically exploited by commercial whaling, the current population of about 500 whales is critically low.
Governments and the private sector throughout the world need to track and adopt measures that ensure our fisheries and interactions with marine life are sustainable. For marine mammals like whales to re-build their numbers, we need to better understand and manage human activities such as shipping, commercial fishing, resource extraction and military operations. Further, we need to address the over 10 million tonnes of sea life that’s unintentionally caught and most often needlessly killed each year throughout the world, including endangered and threatened species like right whales.