A spokesperson for the Canadian Fisheries and Oceans Department has said that around 27 of 30 white-beaked dolphins trapped in ice off southwestern Newfoundland have now died. Department officers visited the site in Cape Ray and found the remaining few dolphins in poor health.
Dolphins and whales can be trapped in ice floes, and in extreme weather conditions would have to navigate hundreds of kilometres to reach open sea. With little food, the dolphins would face exhaustion, and ultimately, death by starvation or suffocation when trapped like this. There is gathering evidence that these events are increasing as climate change makes the development of sea ice increasingly irregular and the whales and dolphins are caught out by sudden fast icing-up of channels and breathing holes in the ice.