May 01, 2014 16:27 ET
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 1, 2014) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Janet Carding, Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum, today announced they have reached an agreement to facilitate the recovery of up to two North Atlantic blue whale skeletons.
Blue whales are one of the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth. There are fewer than 250 mature (adult) blue whales in the Northwest Atlantic population. The chance to preserve, study and examine up to two skeletons is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and of great scientific and educational value for Canadians.
A team from the Royal Ontario Museum led by Dr. Mark D. Engstrom, Deputy Director, and Collections & Research will be travelling to Newfoundland to preserve the skeletons and tissue samples for scientific research. The skeletons will be accessible to the global research community.
"While the loss is truly unfortunate, our Government is pleased that we are able to work with the Royal Ontario Museum to preserve these rare whale skeletons for future generations, and to help Canadians benefit in a meaningful way through this invaluable contribution to Canadian science," said Minister Shea.
"This loss, representing up to 5% of this endangered species is extremely unfortunate. This is an important opportunity to further our understanding of these magnificent animals and provide an invaluable resource for Canadian science and education now and in the future," said Dr. Mark D. Engstrom, ROM Deputy Director, Collections & Research.
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Frank StanekMedia RelationsFisheries and Oceans CanadaOttawa, Ontario613-990-7537Sophie DoucetDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the MinisterFisheries and Oceans Canada613-992-3474Marnie PetersAssistant Vice President, PR & PublicationsRoyal Ontario Museum416firstname.lastname@example.org
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