Right whale

Bruce Mate

Latin name: Eubalaena (spp) 

Our group pioneered the development of satellite-monitored radio tagging, and the first species we tagged was one of the most endangered whales, the Northern Right Whale, which numbered about 330 individuals in the 1990s. About half of all of the known mortalities at that time were from ship strikes, and it was not known where that risk was taking place. Our tagging identified extensive use of the Bay of Fundy, including a foraging area in the midst of the main shipping channel, as well as frequent use of North Atlantic waters east of Nova Scotia. We tracked one animal from Canada to the winter reproductive area offshore the Southeast United States, identifying a nearshore migration exposed to the ship traffic coming and going out of all the major US east coast ports.

Publications:

North Atlantic right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, exposed to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins via a zooplankton vector, Calanus finmarchicus

North Atlantic right whale habitat in the lower Bay of Fundy and on the SW Scotian Shelf during 1999–2001

Summertime foraging ecology of North Atlantic right whales

Summer and fall habitat of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) inferred from satellite telemetry