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. Request access to webinars that have been videoed. Passwords to the videos will be provided upon completion of the form at this link.  If you have already filled in the form and obtained passwords: For the "Return of Giants" video, click here and for the "Boaters and Marine Mammals" video, click here. See below for descriptors of these presentations. 
  3. Request a webinar for a specific group / audience. Please do so by filling in the form at this link. 
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.

Presentation Descriptors:

  • "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.

Supplemental educational materials available at

Presentation and Webinar Schedule

    • 21 Jan 2021
    • 7:00 PM (PST)
    • Online

    Join us for a webinar, hosted by NALT (Nanaimo & Area Land Trust), on Humpback Whales by Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) researcher Jackie Hildering. MERS is based on NE Vancouver Island with education efforts being coast-wide.

    In addition to sharing MERS’ research on Humpback feeding strategies and rate of entanglement, Jackie will discuss how the fortunate return of these giants from the brink of extinction makes increased boater awareness essential to reduce the risk of collision and increase knowledge of what to do if entanglement is witnessed.

    As an educator, cold water diver and underwater photographer, Jackie is known as “The Marine Detective” with on-camera experience including being featured on Animal Planet’s “Wild Obsession” series and in the BBC productions “New threat to Canada's Pacific Humpback Whales?” and “Ingenious Animals”. She has been awarded the Vancouver Aquarium’s MAN Award for Excellence in Aquatic Education (2010) and has been referenced as the standup comic of marine conservation.

    This event indeed promises to be informative and entertaining!

    To attend this webinar,
    please contact (Nanaimo & Area Land Trust).

    Click here to see the news article about this webinar.

All photos on this site provided by and © Jared Towers, Christie McMillan, Jackie Hildering, and Heidi Krajewsky, unless otherwise indicated.
Photos are not to be used without permission.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software