The two minke whales are still swimming in the waters of Montreal

The two minke whales seen this week in Montreal are still swimming in the waters of the metropolis, according to the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM).

The GREMM reported Friday on the Whales Online website that one of the animals “is still located between the old port of Montreal and Île Sainte-Hélène”, while the other “has stabilized in its position and remains in the Le Moyne canal, between the Cosmos footbridge and the Jacques Cartier Bridge”.

They were spotted in Montreal waters as early as Sunday and Wednesday, respectively.

According to the GREMM, a “water monitoring and awareness plan” has been set up in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the SPVM and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“A team of fisheries officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada is currently patrolling and will be patrolling this weekend to ensure that boaters do not approach minke whales,” confirms a spokesperson for the federal agency in answer to questions from The Press. “The presence of boats nearby can cause stress or injury to the animal and be risky for the safety of the observers themselves. »

“We encourage the curious to favor observation from the shore and to avoid moving on the water in the sectors where the whales are found”, asks the GREMM, after The duty has reported that boaters have approached cetaceans on Thursday. “Remember that it is imperative to keep a minimum distance of 100 meters, as provided for in the Marine Mammal Regulations of the Canadian Fisheries Act. »

The presence of two minke whales at the same time in this place is a completely unprecedented situation in recent history, but Fisheries and Oceans does not envisage any intervention to return them to their habitat “considering the difficulties of moving an animal of this size”, explains the spokesperson by email.

In 2020, a humpback whale also dazzled Montrealers with its jumps in the St. Lawrence River, cheering up the confined population at the start of the pandemic. However, the whale was found stranded near Varennes two weeks later.

In 2012, a beluga had also come up to Montreal, causing a surprise. Before that, we have to go back to 1901 for the last whale observed in the metropolis.

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