For more information about these majestic mammals, visit the New England Aquarium.

Did You Know?

  • North Atlantic right whales can weigh up to 60-70 tons, grow up to 15 m (49 feet) in length and live as long as 70 years.
  • Right whales can dive to at least 600 ft. and can stay submerged for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • They were called "right whales" because whalers believed they were the "right" ones to hunt since they were slow swimmers, floated after death and often swam within sight from shore.
  • Although protected for more than 75 years from hunting, the current population is estimated to be over 500 in the North Atlantic.
  • North Atlantic right whales are seasonally migratory. They inhabit colder waters for feeding in the spring, summer and fall, and then in the winter months mothers and some juveniles migrate to warmer waters for calving along the northeast coast of Florida.
  • North Atlantic right whales have distinctive patches of roughened skin called callosities. Since no two whales have the same pattern of callosities, researchers use them to identify individual whales and learn more about them every year.

The future of the North Atlantic right whale is dependent on relationships between scientists who understand the animal and companies like Irving Oil who truly care about the whale’s future."

Moira Brown, Senior Scientist, New England Aquarium

Moira Brown, Senior Scientist, New England Aquarium

North Atlantic right whale


Nearly two decades ago, we established a partnership with the New England Aquarium. Since then, we've worked together and created a safer environment for North Atlantic right whales.

Our partnership, in collaboration with academia, environmental groups and fish harvesters was successful rerouting shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy away from a right whale critical habitat area; the first time shipping lanes had ever been moved to protect an endangered species. There hasn’t been a single recorded vessel whale strike in the shipping lanes and the whales’ population has doubled since research began 35 years ago.

Each summer and fall, aquarium researchers, supported by us, conduct shipboard surveys of North Atlantic right whales in the Bay of Fundy. These surveys allow the scientists to collect important information that’s analyzed over the winter months and used to create and refine programs that help protect right whales.


This year will be an exciting year for our partnership as we work together to strengthen conservation efforts. We’re supporting expansion of the survey areas to include two new areas; the Roseway Basin, off the coast of Nova Scotia, and in the Baie de Chaleur in Northern New Brunswick. We’re testing Whale Alert on our chartered ships and investigating the use of other new technology to further strengthen our efforts.