According to reports from Argentina, Southern right whales are dying in record numbers in the Patagonia region.
In 2012, 116 whale deaths were recorded; almost double the number (61) from the previous year and a figure that represents about three per cent of this particular South Atlantic population of just 4000 whales.
As yet, the reason for the increase death rates has not been confirmed, but a reduction in sources of food caused by climate change could be to blame, as could skin infections that can be caused as a result of attacks on the whales by gulls.
Solutions to the problems faced by the species in this region are currently being looked at by representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and southern Chile as part of a Conservation Management Plan for the Southern right whale.
The plight of these whales will also be discussed at the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee meeting, a gathering of around 200 scientists which is currently taking place in South Korea.