From June 1 to 8, 2021, the first Quebec edition of Ocean Week will take place. Orchestrated by the environmental conservation organization Organisation bleue, the program offers several educational conferences on the St. Lawrence ecosystem and how we can protect it.

Ocean Week also invites participants to take action by picking up trash along the banks of the St. Lawrence. Clean-up activities are organized on June 5 in Montréal, Québec City and the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. Visit the official website (website in French) for full details and to register. And, if you live in another region, cleaning up a stretch of shoreline near you will be every bit as helpful!

Whales in the spotlight

Two master classes led by whale experts will be of particular interest for marine mammal enthusiasts.

In recent years, North Atlantic right whales have often made headlines as they are particularly vulnerable to collisions with boats or entanglement in fishing gear. If these events are more frequent than before, it is because this species is increasingly present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where boat and vessel traffic is heavier than it is in the Bay of Fundy, another area used by right whales. Why are they here? Scientist Lyne Morissette will address this question in a virtual conference on June 1 at 5:00 p.m. Visit Facebook to learn more about the links between climate change and right whale migration.

Another cetacean of particular concern, the St. Lawrence beluga, will be the focus of a second master class with Robert Michaud, scientific director for the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM). This biologist will share the latest scientific knowledge on the social lives of belugas and how they communicate. This conference on the secret lives of belugas can be streamed live on Facebook on June 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Another must-see of Ocean Week: the documentary “Under Thin Ice” (French version only available) will be available at no cost from June 3 to 8. Professional divers Mario Cyr and Jill Heinerth embark on an expedition to the Far North during which they notably encounter narwhals and belugas. Beyond the breathtaking images, the documentary highlights the fragile nature of the arctic ecosystem and its vulnerability to climate change.

Discover the complete program of Ocean Week here (in French).

News - 27/5/2021

Jeanne Picher-Labrie

Jeanne Picher-Labrie joined the GREMM’s team in 2019 as a writer at Whales Online and a naturalist at the Interpretation centre on marine mammals. With a Bachelor's degree in biology and training in science journalism under her belt, she is back in 2021 to tell new whale stories. By immersing herself in scientific studies, she tries to learn more and more about the mysterious life of cetaceans.

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