Science plays a key role in the recovery of the North Atlantic right whale. Scientific studies provide valuable information needed for the development and implementation of conservation measures. A significant portion of our knowledge of right whales has been acquired through aerial and ship based surveys, photo-identification, tagging (i.e. satellite, radio and suction tags), biopsy darting and faecal and oceanographic sampling. The vast amount of data generated allows researchers to understand some of the threats right whales are facing and to develop recovery strategies.
Several multi-year research projects have taken place throughout the Canadian range of the species. Researchers make use of the Bay of Fundy as a study location because of the relative ease of accessibility to large numbers of right whales during the summer and early fall. In addition to the monitoring studies, these investigations cover a wide range of research from feeding ecology to vocalization studies to response reactions to sound stimuli.
This section will discuss some of those projects including surveys conducted in the various Canadian right whale habitat areas by the New England Aquarium and collaborators, ongoing genetics research at the Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre at Trent University, geo-spatial analyses being performed at the Fisheries Oceanography Lab at Dalhousie University, studies at the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station, and the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium.