Crews from the Marine Animal Response Society,
© New Brunswick Museum
Crews from the Marine Animal Response Society, Atlantic Veterinary College, Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station and the New Brunswick Museum are performing a necropsy on a dead minke whale that washed up onshore on Grand Manan.
Discovery of dead minke whale on Grand Manan follows death of minke whale off the coast of Campobello

A necropsy is being performed Sunday on a minke whale that washed up on the shores of Grand Manan Island, N.B., making it the second minke whale found dead in the Fundy Isles in less than one month.

The first whale died after it got wrapped up in a herring weir off of Campobello Island.

Tonya Wimmer, the executive director of the Marine Animal Response Society, said they first heard about the whale on Thursday.

She said there hasn't been any obvious signs of trauma.

"There's nothing obvious from the initial external examination, but we do need to do sort of complete look at the animal from the outside in," said Wimmer.

Too early to draw conclusions

Wimmer said it's too early to draw any conclusions or trends from the death of the minke whales.

"What we're trying to do is get enough information over time to be able to answer a question like [if it's normal,]" said Wimmer.

"It takes a lot of effort just to figure out what that normal is."

Wimmer said it's not fair to compare the deaths of the minke whales to the deaths of the North Atlantic right whales as the number of right whale deaths was more extreme and the overall population was lower.

No deaths of the endangered whales have been recorded in Canadian waters this year, a striking difference from last year, when 12 carcasses were found.

While North Atlantic right whales are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the common minke whale is listed as "least concern."

Wimmer said the group hopes the necropsy will be completed today and that the results should be available in the coming months.