For its 15th anniversary, the reference site on whales of the St. Lawrence has been completely revamped. With a broader network of collaborators and new columnists, Whales Online provides comprehensive coverage of news about whales here and elsewhere, week after week. Through News from Afield and Field Notes, from the Côte-Nord to the Gaspé and upstream to the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, some forty experienced observers and research teams relay their observations and share their most noteworthy moments. With a brand new look and thanks to the support of the Government of Canada’s National Conservation Plan and the Donner Canadian Foundation, the English version of Whales Online is back.
A tool for the discovery and conservation of whales and the St. Lawrence
WhalesOnline.org is an initiative of the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM). As a dynamic and constantly evolving platform, the site revolves around a copiously illustrated encyclopedia-like section that discusses cetaceans and the St. Lawrence, whale-watching in Quebec, research and conservation. For Gréta Fougère, General Director of the Association touristique de Manicouagan, “the Whales Online site is a tremendous tool to discover the world of whales before actually coming to see them on the Whale Route between Tadoussac to Blanc-Sablon”.
The Whales Online website, with its bulletin Portrait de Baleines, also plays a role in the continuous education of captains and naturalists belonging to the Eco-Whale Alliance. Partners of this Alliance, namely whale-watching cruise operators in the Marine Park as well as Parks Canada and Parcs Québec – co-managers of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park – receive news on research programs from a vast network of collaborators and the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network. Jérôme Gouron co-director of the Marine Park: “It’s a wonderful tool both for visitors who are interested in learning more about whales, and for captains and naturalists who can stay up to date on sightings in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.”
Over 3,500 subscribers already receive the free Whales Online newsletter every week. And that number keeps growing, as does the number of subscribers on the social networks affiliated with Whales Online. GREMM Scientific Director Robert Michaud shares his excitement: “Having Whales Online in English again is fantastic. In fact, we are now capable of reaching everyone throughout Quebec and the rest of Canada. Over the years, we have become increasingly convinced that by sharing the whales’ stories, we can change the world, little by little.”