Latest News

Canada-U.S. scientists to hunt for genetic clues to help struggling North Atlantic right whales rebound

Jul. 22 2022, Genome Atlantic

Are clues to improved conservation of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales lurking in their genes? Genome Atlantic and Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, together with the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, Boston, are teaming up on a $6 million, four-year study to find out.
Read here

2 North Atlantic right whales entangled off New Brunswick

Jul. 14 2021, CBC

Rescuers are hoping to free two endangered North Atlantic right whales caught in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Campobello Whale Rescue team tried a second time last Thursday to disentangle Snow Cone, a 16-year old female first spotted entangled off the coast of Massachusetts during the winter.
Read here

Other News

Finding a Balance

Jun. 18 2021, Driving Change

In the new podcast from The Impact Series, Driving Change, host David Peck is joined by the Canadian Whale Institute's Senior Scientist Moira Brown, along with the film's Director David Abel, and Sea Shepherd Founder and Activist Paul Watson to discuss the award-winning film Entangled and the urgent need to protect the Right Whale. Listen here

Yarmouth one of three Canadian monitoring bases on East Coast for North Atlantic Right Whale

Jun. 2 2021, Saltwire

Endangered whales moving from Bay of Fundy and Roseway Basin to Gulf of St. Lawrence...Read more

Focus on helping right whales survive, not assigning blame: Canadian official

May 12 2021, CTV News


A Canada-U.S. spat over who is responsible for the recent death of a critically endangered right whale has prompted a senior Canadian official to suggest there's got to be a better way of settling such disputes... Read More

Rescuers hope to resume efforts to disentangle right whale found near N.B.

May 13 2021, CBC

Rescuers attempted to disentangle a right whale this week found off the coast of northeastern New Brunswick with fishing gear hanging out of its mouth...Read More

UNB researcher contributing expertise to initiative to help protect whales

Feb. 21 2021, University of New Brunswick

The Government of Canada has announced $5.3 million in funding for projects that will advance innovative solutions to help protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, and a UNB research team will be part of this vital initiative... Read More

The new humpback? Calf sighting sparks hope for imperilled right whale

Feb. 18 2021, The Guardian

It was a memorable finale to a day out on the Atlantic: a four-metre whale calf gliding past the boat as the divers returned to the Spanish island of El Hierro in the Canaries... Read More 

Feds outline proposed gear rules in online meeting with lobstermen

Jan. 20 2021, Maine Public

Federal regulators last night detailed proposed new rules for Maine lobstermen and other commercial fishermen whose gear and trap rope poses a risk to endangered North Atlantic right whales. Read More 

Entangled humpback whale freed in Bay of Fundy

Dec. 22 2020, The Bend

A humpback whale has been saved by the Campobello Whale Rescue Team (CWRT) after being found badly entangled in the Bay of Fundy. Read More

Rescuers tracking entangled right whale

Nov. 3 2020, Wicked Local

The Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team (CCS MAER) is continuing to track an entangled North Atlantic right whale identified as #3920, nicknamed Cottontail. Read More 

Punctuation's mark: Can we save the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale?

Oct. 16 2020, Canadian Geographic

The whale was so big that it took until the middle of the night, and nine hours of manouvering, before the industrial excavator could drag her body from the ocean shallows onto the flat beach of Grand Étang, N.S., a rope tied to her tail. Read More 

Humpback whale swims free from fishing weir in Passamaqoddy Bay

Aug. 28 2020, CBC

The humpback whale trapped in a fishing weir in the Passamaqoddy Bay was freed from it Friday morning. Read More 

Humpback whale trapped in fishing weir off Hospital Island

Aug. 27 2020, CBC

A young humpback whale is trapped in a fishing weir off Hospital Island near Saint Andrews. Read More

Fates of endangered whales and fishermen on the line in case for more protections

Aug. 3 2020, Maine Public

Oral arguments are scheduled Monday morning in a federal lawsuit that could spell the fates of the endangered North Atlantic right whale - and of New England's lobstermen. Read More 

'Curious' North Atlantic right whale yearling spotted by whale-watching tour

Jul. 22 2020, CBC

A curious endangered North Atlantic right whale yearling was spotted by a whale-watching tour... Read More

Right whale is now critically endangered, global group finds

Jul. 9 2020, Maine Public

A worldwide conservation organization says the status of a rare species of whale has worsened to the point where it deserves greater attention from the global environmental community. Read More 

Governor General unveils list of 123 remarkable Canadians

Jul. 9 2020, Maine Public

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, today issued a list of 123 new recipients who will be recognized for their excellence. (Including our own Mackie Greene!Read More 

First right whales in Gulf of St. Lawrence trigger some fisheries closures

May 5 2020, CTV News

North Atlantic right whales made their first appearance of 2020 in Canadian waters last weekend, prompting an immediate but temporary closure of fixed-gear fisheries in the area under new federal rules trying to protect the highly endangered animals... Read More 

Why whales are worrying lobstermen in Maine

Oct. 1 2019, Wall Street Journal

Five members of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association industry group initially supported a 50% reduction in vertical fishing lines during an advisory meeting in April to hash out whale protections... Read More 

The fearless rescuers who save right whales from certain death

Aug. 13 2019, Maclean's

A North Atlantic right whale is tangled up in fishing gear and likely to die—unless this dauntless rescue team gets to him first... Read More

North Atlantic right whales in crisis - and the people risking lives to save them

Aug. 1 2019, BBC News

Once hunted to near extinction, North Atlantic right whales are now facing new human threats that could end the species. Here are the people risking their lives to save them...Read More

On the Job: Robert Fitzsimmons of the Campobello whale rescue team

Jul. 15, 2019, Natural Resources

Fitzsimmons is now a 16-year veteran of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team (CWRT), a small, and until this year, volunteer group on Campobello Island, New Brunswick... Read More

What it takes to disentangle a right whale: three boats, two aircraft and a lot of manpower

Jul. 12, 2019, Saltwire

It was 5:30 a.m. on Thursday when a small boat nicknamed Scamper left a wharf at Shippagan, N.B., in search of a right whale longer than it. Aboard were five members of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team... Read More

As right whales surge north, one death too many

Jun. 15, 2019, Boston Globe

Miscou Island, New Brunswick — Before the leviathan was dragged to shore, before it was found floating at sea trailing a slick of blood, the massive creature had had its run-ins with its greatest nemesis: human beings... Read More

Dr. Moira Brown (Senior Scientist, Canadian Whale Institute) at the Fisheries and Oceans Committee

Oct. 30, 2018, Open Parliament

Dr. Moira Brown of the Canadian Whale Institute spoke to the Canadian Parliament on behalf of North Atlantic right whales, and on behalf of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team that responds to entanglements of whales in the Maritimes.... Read More

The plight of the right whale

Oct. 29 2018, Smithsonian Magazine

From 800 feet above the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, I peer out of the window of a Twin Otter airplane. The sun glares back from the blue expanse below... Read More

In changing climate, endangered right whales find new feeding grounds

Oct. 9 2018, NPR

Moira Brown, a scientist with the New England Aquarium and the Canadian Whale Institute who has been studying right whales since the 1980s, says she actually finds hope in the habitat shift from the Bay of Fundy to the Gulf of St. Lawrence... Read More

Armed with data: Unprecedented experiment with Canadian military provides new insights on right whales

Sep. 25 2018, Dal News

North Atlantic right whales began making headlines the summer of 2017 when a record number of the whales died after getting tangled in fishing gear or hit by ships... Read More

Ongoing search for entangled right whale in Bay of Fundy is unprecedented, says expert

Aug 3 2018, CBC

Jerry Conway, who has been involved in whale disentanglement for four decades, says he's never seen this amount of effort and resources go into finding an entangled whale before, "with the exception of some of the work that was done in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year."... Read More

Fog hinders search for entangled right whale in Bay of Fundy for 3rd day

Aug. 1 2018, CBC

Fog hindered the search for an endangered North Atlantic right whale entangled in fishing gear in the Bay of Fundy for a third consecutive day Wednesday... Read More

How one man died so a whale might live

Jun. 20, 2018, The Guardian

The day Joe Howlett died dawned perfectly. The water in Shippagan Harbour was flat like glass, the winds calm, the sun rising into a dark blue sky as Joe maneuvered the Shelagh – the Canadian Whale Institute’s research vessel – into the Gulf of St Lawrence for a day of surveying north Atlantic right whales and sampling for zooplankton off the coast of northern New Brunswick... Read More

Saving the North Atlantic right whales, one point on a map at a time

Jun. 7, 2018, Global News

A new project spearheaded by researchers at Dalhousie University is hoping to map out the locations of North Atlantic Right Whales — and help the endangered species survive in Canadian waters... Read More

Atlantic fishermen left scrambling after endangered whales’ arrival in Gulf of St. Lawrence

May 22 2018, Global News

The arrival of two endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has thrown several lucrative fisheries for a loop... Read More

When things go wrong for right whales

Mar. 8 2018, Royal Ontario Museum

Right whales were featured heavily in the news throughout the latter half of 2017, unfortunately for dire reasons. In 2017, seventeen dead whales were discovered, twelve right whales were found in the Gulf of St Lawrence and five others were recorded in US waters... Read More

Whale expert lauds ships that complied with speed limit in Gulf of St. Lawrence

Jan. 30, 2018, CBC

As Transport Canada investigates the final 78 alleged violations of a speed limit imposed last summer to protect North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and reviews the fines, one whale expert is lauding mariners for their efforts to comply... Read More

Transport Canada lifts speed limit in Gulf of St. Lawrence

Jan. 12, 2018, CBC

Transport Canada has lifted the speed limit in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, five months after the restriction was put in place to prevent further right whale deaths... Read More

Feds to consider using $400M fund, innovation prize to save North Atlantic right whales

Nov. 9, 2017, CBC

The federal government will consider using the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund and an innovation prize to develop new fishing gear or technology to help protect North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence... Read More

Nov. 9 meeting in Moncton next step in combatting right whale deaths

Oct. 8, 2017, CBC

Scientists, fishermen, large-vessel operators and Indigenous groups will meet Nov. 9 in Moncton to work on how to reduce the mounting numbers of dead right whales turning up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.Whale biologist Moira Brown says it's important to take action soon... Read More

'Very tragic summer' leaves experts searching for way to save whales

Aug. 3, 2017, CBC

Right whales have died this summer at a rate unseen since whalers hunted them down, a leading researcher said Thursday as she called for changes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that would keep ships and whales from overlapping."We haven't lost this many right whales in a short period of time since the days of whaling over 100 years ago," said Moira Brown, a senior scientist with the Canadian Whale Institute... Read More

'Catastrophic': 10th dead right whale found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Aug. 2, 2017, National Post

Yet another endangered North Atlantic right whale has been found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence — the 10th since June 7... Read More

Fisheries officials hope to examine dead right whale that washed ashore in N.L.

Jul. 27, 2017, Canadian Press

Federal Fisheries officials are hoping to examine the latest North Atlantic right whale to be found dead on the East Coast... Read More.

A man freed a whale from a fishing net. Then it killed him, friends say.

Jul. 12, 2017, The Washington Post

Joe Howlett was no stranger to the risky work of rescuing whales. More than 15 years ago, the Canadian lobster fisherman co-founded the Campobello Whale Rescue Team, an “intrepid group of fishermen who care so much about whales that they are willing to risk their lives to save them.”... Read More.

'He was a hero': Fisherman who died saving whale saw rescue as a duty

Jul. 11, 2017, CBC

Joe Howlett, a Campobello Island, N.B., man who lost his life Monday night freeing a whale tangled up in fishing gear, was not afraid of his work. Howlett, who co-founded the Campobello Whale Rescue Team, was performing a rescue in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from a Department of Fisheries vessel based at Shippagan, on the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick, when he died... Read More.

'Unprecedented event': 6 North Atlantic right whales found dead in June

Jun. 24, 2017, CBC

Since June 7, six North Atlantic right whales have been found dead, floating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in a loss that amounts to more than one per cent of the population of the endangered species... Read More.

North Atlantic right whales rebound in Bay of Fundy

Oct. 3 2016, CBC

A marine biologist and leading researcher of North Atlantic right whales has declared 2016 a banner year for the beleaguered Bay of Fundy. Moira Brown, a senior scientist with the New England Aquarium and the Canadian Whale Institute, has been studying whales for more than three decades and says after five years of desert-like conditions, an unexpected richness and diversity of sea-life has returned to the bay...Read More.

Dr.Moira Brown + Right Whales

Oct. 2 2016, CBCListen

A feature conversation with Dr. Moria Brown about her lifetime studying the North Atlantic Right Whale. Harry Forestell speaks with her about her on-going fascination with these remarkable creatures...Read More.

Whale watchers in Bay of Fundy get inches away from humpback

Sept. 7 2016, CBC

Scientists are saying they expect to document over 100 right whales in the Bay of Fundy this year, a welcome sign after several years of decline. "The bay seems much more alive this year than the past five," said Moira Brown, senior scientist with the Canadian Whale Institute, in an email....Read More.

Entangled right whale rescued in Bay of Fundy

Aug. 16 2016, The Ellsworth American

A severely entangled, endangered right whale was freed on Saturday after a long-running, five-hour rescue in the Bay of Fundy by four members of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team in a 24-foot, inflatable rescue boat... Read More.

Right whale freed from fishing gear in Bay of Fundy

Aug. 15 2016, CBC

An endangered right whale that was freed from fishing lines in the Bay of Fundy near Campobello Island over the weekend has been dubbed FDR, after former U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt. The six-year-old male whale was severely entangled. "I've never seen a whale with so many lines on it," said Moira Brown, senior scientist for the Canadian Whale Institute on Campobello Island, who was on the rescue mission Saturday morning... Read More.

Whale Alert 2.0, an app that tracks down lost whales, launches

May 27 2016, Cantech Letter

Introducing Whale Alert 2.0. First launched in 2012 as a tool for the shipping industry to keep track of the endangered right whale along the New England coast in order to prevent deadly strikes between ships and whales, which is a major cause of death for some species, the new Whale Alert 2.0, now operational for both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the U.S. and Canada... Read More.

Right whale conservation efforts see signs of success

Sep. 24 2015, CTV News

The efforts to preserve and protect the North Atlantic right whale population have been on-going for more than three decades. The change to shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy was a turning point that gave the huge mammals a chance to rebound and evidence of its success has been spotted in the waters off southern Nova Scotia... Read More.

Right whales may abandon protected feeding habitats in search of food

Aug. 20 2015, Dal News

The Roseway and Grand Manan basins on the Scotian Shelf are protected feeding habitats for North Atlantic right whales, but new research suggests that these endangered animals have started travelling elsewhere in search of food... Read More.

Three dead in three weeks: a blow for endangered right whales

Aug. 4 2015, Mongabay

Between June 24 and July 13, no fewer than three carcasses of endangered North Atlantic right whales were found floating in Canadian waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence... Read More.

North Atlantic right whale freed from fishing trap in Ingonish

Jul. 7 2015, CBC

An endangered North Atlantic right whale had a close call Monday night near Ingonish in Cape Breton after it got trapped in a fishing net... Read More.

App, shipping lane changes keep right whales safe in Bay of Fundy

Jun. 10 2015, CTV News

The North Atlantic right whale is rebounding because fewer whales are getting hit by ships, and one of the world’s leading experts says increased shipping in the Bay of Fundy is unlikely to change that... Read More.

Changing the deadly collision course between ships & whales

Jun. 10 2015, HuffPost

For millions of years, the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans have been home to right whales. They feed in the productive higher latitudes, especially from spring to fall. During the winter months, they migrate to lower latitudes if ready to calve... Read More.

Proposed right whale protected habitat expansion pleases Kim Davies

Feb. 23 2015, CBC

A U.S. government proposal to dramatically expand habitat protection for the endangered North Atlantic right whale in the Gulf of Maine is being welcomed by a Dalhousie University oceanographer."It’s a huge area and it’s nice to see... It’s the result of 20 years of research in the Gulf of Maine," said whale researcher Kim Davies... Read More.

Rare North Atlantic right whales spotted off Cape Breton

Sep. 11 2014, CBC

The rare North Atlantic right whale has been making a splash in the waters off Cape Breton, to the surprise of some... Read More.

Endangered right whales to be tracked using autonomous gliders

Aug. 6 2014, CBC

Sleek yellow gliders will soon cruise the waters off Nova Scotia in a high-tech bid to track down one of the world's most endangered marine mammals and possibly provide clues to an ecological mystery... Read More.

Right whale population at all-time high, says expert

Jun. 19 2014, CBC

A Canadian whale expert says the future of the North Atlantic right whale is looking up, with the highest population since scientists started tracking it 30 years ago.Moira Brown, a senior scientist with the Canadian Whale Institute, said it's been a long road to rebuild the right whale population but there are now more than 500 documented animals... Read More.

Absence of right whales in Bay of Fundy puzzles scientists

Oct. 4 2013, CBC

A Scientists are puzzled by a dearth of sightings of an endangered species of whale in the Bay of Fundy this summer.North Atlantic right whales are normally seen in the bay in the summer, but not this year... Read More.

Maine lobstermen join Gulf of Maine right whale expedition

Dec. 19 2011, Bangor Daily News

A lobsterman who fishes 800 traps out of the Washington County community of Bucks Harbor, Ingalls, 62, found himself 90 miles offshore last week aboard the 112-foot Friendship V whale-watching vessel as a member of a dawn-to-dusk whale spotting expedition to find and photograph North Atlantic right whales in their Gulf of Maine mating habitat... Read More.

Rare northern right whales were not hunted to the brink

Feb. 17 2010, BBC News

One of the rarest whales in the world was not a victim of extensive whaling as previously supposed. Fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales remain, with the blame for their demise laid at the harpoon tips of 16th and 17th century whalers.But a new study of ancient whale bones confirms the population of northern right whales has for centuries been small with a limited genetic diversity.... Read More.

Mackie Green: Canada's premier whale rescuer

Sept. 5, 2008, Christian Science Monitor

If you're a Canadian fisherman and there's a 70-ton North Atlantic right whale thrashing about in your net – threatening itself and your crew – who are you going to call? Read More 

Ships asked to avoid whale route

Oct. 11 2007, BBC News

The endangered right whale is to get extra protection after a safe haven from shipping was set aside off Nova Scotia in Canada. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) ratified a Canadian proposal to designate the 1,800-sq-km zone an "Area to Be Avoided" at a meeting in Denmark... Read More