Beluga whale in Montreal!

A white beluga whale about four metres long has been seen in the waters of the Port of Montreal several times since September 28.

It is the first time that a beluga has been seen this far up the St. Lawrence River. These beautiful marine mammals are usually found in salt water and spend the summer in the estuary between Île-aux-Coudres and Rimouski.

The Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network has been closely monitoring the young whale’s movements. A beluga that is this “far from home” is not necessarily in difficulty, and it could return to its natural habitat on its own. But it is more vulnerable to accidents, and a prolonged stay in freshwater can be harmful. The St. Lawrence beluga population is threatened. During the summer, Marine Mammal Emergencies reported an alarming rise in the number of newborn beluga deaths. Sixteen newborn calves died this year, up from the average of five over the past 30 years.


Photo: IStock

Marine Mammal Emergencies is asking for the public’s help. If you see a beluga in the river portion of the St. Lawrence:

 

  • Keep your distance and do not try to interact with it;
  • Call 1-877-722-5346 immediately;
  • Take a photograph or video of the beluga.


Further information about the beluga in the Port of Montreal is available here


A team of biologists has been keeping a close watch on a young beluga whale that has been seen in the waters of the Port of Montreal.