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Presentations & Webinars

MERS provides free webinars that are aimed at being highly engaging and entertaining while having the strong potential to reduce threats to marine life and boaters. A very high priority is to update boaters on the amended Marine Mammal Regulations (federal law) and to also to share our research on Humpback Whales and discuss how to reduce the risk of collision and what to do in case an entanglement is witnessed. The increase in the number of Humpbacks off the coast of British Columbia is so fortunate but necessitates increased awareness from boaters because Humpbacks behave so differently than the whale species boaters are more accustomed to i.e. Orca. 

There are 3 options for MERS webinars:

  1. Join a scheduled webinar. See calendar below. Click on an event for further information and/or registration. 
  2. Access one of our pre-recorded webinars. See presentation descriptions below for available recorded webinars.
  3. Request a presentation or webinar. Please do so by filling in the form at this link. 

Presentation Descriptions:

  • "The Return of Giants"A presentation on our Humpback Whales research including population studies, feeding strategies, and rate of entanglement. Includes essential watercraft user information about how to avoid collision and what to do, and not to do, if entanglement is witnessed. There is also a focus on the importance of citizen science to whale research and conservation.
  • "Boaters and Marine Mammals - Safety and Stewardship" -  The aim of this presentation is to be of use to watercraft users by increasing knowledge of the Marine Mammal Regulations and best practices regarding vessel operation around marine mammals. Topics include the positive contributions that can make to conservation and research, such as reducing the impacts of acoustic and physical disturbance, habituation, entanglement, collision, and marine debris.

    *Please note that as an update to these presentations, that the 400-metre vessel approach distance is in effect year-round for all
    Orca between Campbell River and just north of Ucluelet.

  • "All Together Now - Collaborations to reduce threats to Humpbacks"

    Who are the whales? What do they eat? How to reduce noise, entanglement and collision?

    The following MERS Research Associates and Collaborators shared overviews of their projects to help answer these questions.

    - Tasli Shaw (Humpbacks of the Salish Sea) - Humpbacks of the Salish Sea - Investigating who the whales are, their population trends, site fidelity, and behaviour.

    - Ashley Hoyland and Mark Sawyer (Humpbacks of Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds) - The Humpbacks of Southwest Vancouver Island - community effort to catalogue Humpbacks and why it matters.

    - Ali Gladwell (University of Victoria) - Too close for comfort? Boater behaviour around marine mammals in the Johnstone Strait area: research to help inform boater education.

    - Joan Moreaux (University of British Columbia)- The diet of individual Humpback Whales and why it matters to their conservation.

    - Gary Sutton (Ocean Wise) and Emily Cowie (MERS) - Studying scars - aerial photographs to help determine rates of collision and entanglement in Humpback Whales. Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Research Program

    Hosts and technical support: Christie McMIllan, Jackie Hildering and Marieke Knierim, MERS.

    Supplemental educational materials available here.

    If you would like to receive notifications when new MERS webinars are scheduled,
    click here and sign up for MERS Presentation Email Alerts.

    Are you interested in our Marine Mammal Naturalist Course?

    Click here and sign up for the Marine Mammal Naturalist Course Email Alerts.

    All photos on this site © Jared Towers, Christie McMillan, Jackie Hildering, and Heidi Krajewsky, unless otherwise indicated. 
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    © 2022 Marine Education and Research Society.
    Registered Canadian Charitable #: 85759-9112-RR0001

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