Recovery Strategies

Recovery Strategy for the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus), Northwest Atlantic Population, in Canada

The blue whale population (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Northwest Atlantic 1 was designated as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in May 2002. This species was added to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) list as an endangered species in January 2005. Commercial whale hunting historically carried out in the Atlantic reduced the population by about 70%; at least 11,000 blue whales were killed before the 1960s including at least 1,500 animals in eastern Canada waters (Sergeant, 1966). Currently, the size of the Northwest Atlantic population is unknown, but it is unlikely that the number of mature animals exceeds 250 individuals according to experts’ estimates (Sears and Calambokidis, 2002). According to available information, blue whales use Atlantic coastal and pelagic Canadian waters mainly in the summer, to feed primarily on euphausiids (commonly known as krill).

Consultation period: 2009-08-24 to 2009-10-23


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Contact Person(s)

SARA Directorate
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6
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Related Species


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