This auction is directed at covering Marine Education and Research Society operating costs. Below is a list of some of the work accomplished in 2017 with less than 2 full-time positions. We hope this reflects how efficient and productive an organization MERS strives to be. This is possible through the support of many and, while we have been successful in achieving funding for some of our work, it remains challenging to cover operating costs, estimated at $30,000 year.
Highlights of work achieved by MERS in 2017:
- 2,250+ data entries for sightings of Humpbacks
- 170 hours spent monitoring whales during commercial fisheries in case there is an entanglement and in order to better understand the risk;
- 80 additional “See a Blow? Go Slow!” signs for strategic positioning on British Columbia’s coast (70 of these were made possible through sponsorship);
- 24 presentations on our research and reducing risks to whales, reaching more than 1,530 people from coastal BC;
- In partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, expanding our entanglement scarring study to a coast-wide effort;
- Production of the “How to Save a Whale” resource to help people understand what to do in case of finding an entangled whale which has reached over 35,000 viewers and is being shared internationally;
- Managing “Who You Gonna Call” – a series of 4 short videos to increase awareness about risks to marine mammals.;
- Submitting our research on trap-feeding for publication;
- Collaborating to update the British Columbia province-wide Humpback catalogue;
- Engagement with media leading to over 35 articles and radio interviews aimed at reducing risks to whales; and
- Training more than 45 people at our Marine Naturalist Workshop to enhance the calibre of conservation information provided on our coast.