On the afternoon of November 18, a News from Afield collaborator and Gaspé Bay whale-watching employee in summers ends his working day with a walk around this bay. The hike is well worth it! He discovers three humpbacks and two minke whales from Cap Bon-Ami. The animals are quite far from the coast, but through his binoculars, he can make out the backs of humpbacks that succeed one after the other. Their spouts remain invisible.

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Orion © GREMM

In the Estuary on November 21, the GREMM team, still on the water for the satellite transmitter project to track belugas over the winter, is surprised to cross paths with several groups of harp seal and the fin whale Orion. Orion is recognized amongst them by the shape of his dorsal fin truncated toward the top and bottom. Since 2012, he also bears a new field mark, a scar on his peduncle which is visible from both sides. The fin whale was identified this summer. On July 29, Orion was marked with a radio transmitter for 40 minutes for the Large Rorqual Telemetric Monitoring Project. In late November of this year, Orion is not the only fin whale present in the Estuary. Two or three other individuals have been spotted earlier this week.

Then, from the comfort of his own home, our collaborator in Franquelin (Côte-Nord region) discovered the presence of minke whales and gray seals near shore this week. The Estuary is an extension of his backyard.

Observation of the Week - 24/11/2015

Marie-Sophie Giroux

Marie-Sophie Giroux joined the GREMM in 2005 until 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a diploma in Environmental Consulting. As Lead Naturalist, she oversees and coordinates the team working at the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre and writes for Whales Online and Whale Portraits. She loves to share “whale stories” with visitors to the CIMM and readers alike.

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