Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network

Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network

April 24, 2009 14:39 ET

Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network : 1-877-7baleine

TADOUSSAC, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 24, 2009) - With the arrival of spring the St. Lawrence shoreline is becoming increasingly ice free. It is the time of year when shore dwellers frequently discover marine mammal carcasses washed up along the coast. These remains contain a wealth of precious information for scientific research. It is therefore imperative that information concerning beached marine mammals be rapidly transmitted to the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network by dialling the 1-877-7baleine toll-free number (1-877-722-5346).

In accordance with various local assistance teams and in relation to the region and the situation, different interventions will be carried out depending on the carcass' species and condition. At the very least, information supplied by witnesses will be collected and added to a database, which will be used to gain a clearer understanding of St. Lawrence marine mammals and the hazards that threaten them. Certain species will be sampled to allow scientists to answer specific questions concerning the ecology of these animals.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is pursuing a systematic beluga whale carcass-sampling programme. Fresh carcasses are sent to the University of Montreal's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Saint-Hyacinthe for complete post-mortem examination. Necropsies allow researchers to determine cause of death, discover pathologies and measure contamination by various toxic chemicals. If the state of the carcass does not justify transportation, the St. Lawrence National Institute of Ecotoxicology (SLNIE) samples it on site to determine the animal's age, gender and the levels of various contaminants in the blubber. Of the 24 beluga whale carcasses reported to the Network in 2008, seven were transported to the University of Montreal's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; 15 were sampled on site.

The Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network is made up of 13 private and governmental organisations. Its mandate is to organize, co-ordinate and implement measures to reduce the accidental death of marine mammals, come to the assistance of animals in trouble and acquire data concerning dead animals in the waters of the St. Lawrence bordering the province of Quebec.

The Network also counts on shore dwellers and those navigating the waters of the St. Lawrence to promptly report all cases of marine mammals (whales and seals) that are either in trouble or dead by dialling 1-877-7baleine (1-877-722-5346). Thank you for your precious collaboration!

Contact Information