North Atlantic right whale

A shared passion for protecting right whales 

For two decades, Irving Oil has partnered with the New England Aquarium to help protect the North Atlantic right whale – an endangered species with critical habitat areas in the Bay of Fundy, south of Nova Scotia, and along the east coast of the US.

Over the years, we’ve developed a shared passion for protecting this amazing species! By working together, our partnership in the Bay of Fundy has been able to maintain the longest, uninterrupted survey on North Atlantic right whales.

In collaboration with academia, environmental groups and fish harvesters, our partnership was successful in rerouting shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy; this was the first time shipping lanes had ever been moved to protect an endangered species. Since then, there hasn’t been a single recorded vessel whale strike in the shipping lanes, which helped the right whale population living in our waters grow from less than 350 to nearly 500. Recent population models show, however, that the right whale population is at risk again, which is why it is more important than ever to continue our efforts.

We are proud to continue our support of the New England Aquarium so that researchers can go farther afield this year to protect and study the right whale. Because it’s not just about protecting the right whale in the Bay of Fundy, it’s about protecting them everywhere, and supporting the scientists to learn more about the right whale’s critical role in the health of our blue planet. Our partnership will uncover more of the right whale stories, and will inform research around the world on ocean-wide changes that are affecting many species and ecosystems.


Inspiring conservation through education 

We've increased our focus on school programming to inspire the next generation in the importance of protecting our oceans and our planet. We’re supporting the New England Aquarium’s education department in presenting more Whale Days programs for school kids and community members in both Canada and the US. Whale Days presents a hands-on experience with interactive activities that will help the public better understand what they can do to protect the most endangered large whale species in the North Atlantic.


Small actions add up

We are stopping our use of plastic straws at our Big Stop Restaurants to help protect marine mammals.

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.

Whale Alert™ lets you report a whale sighting and shares the information in real-time with researchers and authorities.