When should you call 1-877-722-5346?
- If you see a stranded whale, whether alive or dead
- If you see a whale or seal carcass
- If you see a whale entangled in fishing gear
- If you see an injured whale or seal in the water or on shore
- If you see a whale or seal being harassed or disturbed by humans
- If you see a whale or seal outside its usual range
Before attempting any intervention, contact 1-877-722-5346. A poorly executed intervention can have serious consequences for the animal and/or the responder. The person who takes your call will ask you questions to gather information about the case and attempt to identify the species in question. He or she may ask you to send any photos you might have.
Following your call, an action plan will be established. Depending on the situation, one or more volunteers will be dispatched to the site to document the case or perform an intervention. Depending on the severity of the incident, a rescue or recovery of the carcass may be organized. These specialists have the necessary training and permits to work in a safe manner both for themselves and for the animal.
What does the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network do?
Created in 2004, the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network is an umbrella group of organizations and institutions that work with marine mammals. The Network is responsible for organizing, coordinating and implementing measures aimed at reducing accidental mortality of marine mammals, rescuing marine mammals in difficulty, and facilitating data acquisition from beached or drifting carcasses in the waters of the St. Lawrence in Quebec. The Network relies on the support of more than 160 volunteers.
The Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network manages the Marine Mammal Emergencies call centre, which operates 24/7. Every year, Marine Mammal Emergencies receives over 600 reports representing hundreds of cases. Depending on the case, the Network’s various partners will intervene either by raising public awareness, scientifically documenting the situation to prevent new incidents, or helping the animal(s).
Since joining forces in 2004, the partners have entrusted the coordination of the Network and its call centre to the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM).
What does a volunteer do?
Volunteers are called upon to:
- Take photos of stranding sites
- Take measurements of dead animals
- Inform and raise awareness of curious observers present during the intervention
- Establish security perimeters and post signs for cases in progress
- Take samples from carcasses on occasion
Volunteers are recruited in winter.
Do you live near the St. Lawrence? Are you motivated, available and interested in supporting marine mammal conservation in the St. Lawrence? Team up with the hundred-plus volunteers that represent one of the greatest strengths of the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network.
What does it take to volunteer for Marine Mammal Emergencies?
- Be motivated and live near the St. Lawrence
- Have a certain availability and flexibility in your schedule
- Have an interest in marine mammals
- Have the types of equipment used in the call centre’s work: digital camera or smart phone, Internet access, vehicle and mobile phone (for communication in the field and ideally for rapid transfer of visual documentation).
- Complete three hours of mandatory training (online, remote)
- No experience or prior training required
- Be able to speak French
How can I become a volunteer?
Click here (website in French) and you will be redirected to the AssoConnect online volunteer management platform to complete your personal file. There you will find a general description of the project as well as details on the requirements to become a volunteer. New volunteers are selected based on the sectors to be covered. A member of our team will contact you.
A special thanks to all current and future volunteers!
Why come to the aid of struggling marine mammals?
Incidents involving marine mammals contribute to the further decline of certain populations that are threatened or endangered. A coordinated, rapid and efficient response is the best strategy for assisting marine mammals in difficulty and obtaining scientific data from each incident that will help manage these species… and ultimately foster a better coexistence of humans and marine mammals in the St. Lawrence.
Who are partners?
- Aquarium du Québec
- Centre d’éducation et de recherche de Sept-Îles (CERSI)
- Centre québécois de santé des animaux sauvages
- Espace pour la vie – Biodôme de Montréal
- Group for research and education on marine mammals (GREMM)
- Institut national d’écotoxicologie du Saint-Laurent
- Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
- Parcs Canada
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Réseau d’observation des mammifères marins (ROMM)
- Mingan Island Cetacean Studies (MICS)
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
What other organizations help marine mammal in Canada?
In Canada, different organizations are dedicated to responding to marine animal emergencies across the country, each of them in a specific region. These networks have created the Canadian Marine Animal Response Alliance (CMARA). Here are a list of them:
- Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network (us)
- Maritime Marine Animal Response Network
- Whale Release and Strandings Newfoundland and Labrador
- British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network.
1-877-7baleine (1-877-722-5346) for an emergency
418 235-4701 for the administration
Robert Michaud, coordinator
Janie Giard, scientific advisor
Mélissa Tremblay, director of the call centre and volunteer manager
Méduline Chailloux, team manager of the response team, north shore
Anthony François, director of the response program, team manager, south shore
Marie-Ève Muller, spokesperson