One of four North Atlantic right whale calves spotted so far this breeding season struck by ship

  • One of just four North Atlantic right whale calves spotted off the southeast coast of the United States so far this winter was discovered last week to have suffered deep propeller wounds to both sides of its head.
  • The injured calf was photographed by an aerial survey team about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) off the coast of the state of Georgia while swimming with its mother on January 8. The two S-shaped gashes observed by the survey team were most likely caused by the propeller of a boat, but humans will probably not be able to intervene and help the calf.
  • The North Atlantic right whale population has been on the decline since 2010, due almost entirely to the impacts of human activities, especially collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear.


Last updated on 21 January 2020

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Habitat loss and degradation
Species group: 
Marine mammals