Marine Mammal Emergencies


You have a role to play!


  • Tagged harbour seal
  • Photo credit : © Hugues Deglaire

Quickly report any incident of a whale or seal, whether dead or in difficulty, by calling

For a seal on a beach

It’s a wild animal: stand back! Whether a young or adult animal, it’s probably not in difficulty. Report the incident if the seal is in fresh water, appears sick or injured or if it is in a high traffic area.

For a live beached cetacean

It’s best to await instructions from experts before approaching the animal. Every intervention is a source of stress that can reduce the animal’s chances of survival. A stranded cetacean can stay alive for several hours.


  • Floating beluga carcass
  • Photo credit : © GREMM

For a floating carcass

Call while you still have visual contact with the carcass, especially if you think it’s a beluga.

For a whale caught in fishing gear

If you’re a fisherman, call as soon as possible by mobile or via the maritime control centre in your sector. If the whale has died, please call before releasing the carcass. Your collaboration is highly appreciated.

To volunteer

Do you live near the St. Lawrence? Do you have an interest in marine mammals? Do you have a vehicle, mobile phone, camera, and Internet access? You could be a good candidate to become a Marine Mammal Emergencies volunteer! To learn more:


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 the acquisition of data from beached or drifting carcasses in the waters of the St. Lawrence in Quebec.


Via the toll-free number 1-877-7baleine (1-877-722-5346)), users and residents of the St. Lawrence are invited to alert Marine Mammal Emergencies of incidental catches in fishing gear, strandings, boat collisions, floating carcasses and marine mammals that have strayed far from their usual ranges.

Depending on the case, intervention teams may be dispatched in order to take action. Such actions might include photo-documentation, carcass recovery, sample-taking, and disentanglement of animals caught in fishing gear.


Marine Mammal Emergencies receives about 500 calls every year. Follow the latest incidents.

To reach us

Call Centre and Coordination Centre

Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network

108 de la Cale-Sèche

Tadoussac, Québec G0T 2A0

To report an incident: 1-877-722-5346

For any other matter: 418-235-4701

The story behind the Network

Every year around the world, tens of thousands of marine mammals fall victim to incidents related to human activities such as collisions or entanglements in fishing gear. The St. Lawrence is no exception to this reality. In 2002, a group of experts from different backgrounds held a workshop to discuss issues and response capacities with regard to marine mammals in difficulty in the St. Lawrence. It was concluded that a wide variety of incidents involving at least 13 species of marine mammals, cetaceans and seals occurred in the St. Lawrence. The expert group thus recommended establishing an umbrella network of organizations and institutions that were already involved in marine mammals interventions.


  • Photo credit : © GREMM

Two years later, in 2004, the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network was founded. This network is the result of the coordinated work of more than a dozen partners based along the St. Lawrence in different regions of Quebec.

The Network’s mandate: to organize, coordinate and implement measures aimed at reducing accidental mortality of marine mammals, rescue those in difficulty, and facilitate the acquisition of data from beached or drifting carcasses in Quebec waters of the St. Lawrence.

The public can reach the Network 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialling toll-free 1-877-7baleine (1-877-722-5346). Depending on the case, response teams may be dispatched in order to take action. These actions range from photo-documentation to carcass recovery to sample-taking.

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 from each incident scientific data that will help manage these species… and eventually to foster a better coexistence of Man and the marine mammals of the St. Lawrence.


  • Credit: © Aquarium du Québec