et éducation pour prom- ouvoir la conservation
La "Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station" (GMWSRS) est située à
North Head, sur l'île de
Grand Manan, à l'entrée de la baie de Fundy.
Le but de cette station est de promouvoir la recherche et l'éducation afin d'aider à la
conservation dans la baie. C'est un endroit où les scientifiques et les
étudiant(e)s peuvent vivre et étudier la biologie des animaux marins de la baie de Fundy de sorte à pouvoir contribuer des données pour appuyer
la conservation et la gestion de ces espèces.
courante vise à réduire les prises accessoires des marsouins et mieux
comprendre l'utilisation et la qualité de l'habitat des marsouins.
La station de recherche contrôle également la population locale des
des baleines noires et des autres baleines et oiseaux de mer dans la
baie de Fundy.
Un des projets courants important est le "Programme de
relargage des marsouins communs".
Research and Education
to Promote Conservation
Grand Manan Whale & Research Director
Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station (GMWSRS), located in
North Head, on Grand Manan Island, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, was
incorporated in 1981 and gained charitable status in 1983.
The Research Station’s aim is to promote research and education to
aid conservation in the Bay of Fundy. This is a place where scientists
and students can live and study the biology of marine animals in the Bay
of Fundy, with a goal of contributing data for the conservation and
management of these species. The current facility is largely seasonal
(spring through fall) with researchers conducting their field studies at
these times, although a year-round office is maintained by the managing
director. We also work co-operatively with other scientists, both in the
Bay and elsewhere. A small marine natural history museum, with emphasis
on marine mammals, is open in our facility in the summer, and we offer
lectures to promote our public education objectives, working closely
with island groups and groups visiting the island. We are also the
sponsor of the Fundy Bird Observatory, which aims to monitor the
migration of songbirds.
Current conservation research includes studies regarding:
understanding and helping reduce porpoise bycatch in local fisheries;
porpoise habitat utilisation and habitat quality; monitoring the health
of the local porpoise population; and monitoring right whales, other
whales and seabirds in the Bay of Fundy. These studies are achieved
through opportunistic data collection from whale watch vessels, winter
surveys of alcids (razorbills and murres), and surveying and mapping
nesting seabirds. We are also involved in conservation management,
through harbour porpoise working groups, the Right Whale Recovery Plan,
oil spill preparedness planning, whale watch code of ethics, and we are
a member of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium.
guillemots, nesting colony on Kent Island
(photo: Sarah Wong, GMWSRS)
Harbour Porpoise Release Program
The most notable directed conservation work at the GMWSRS in recent
years has been the development of the Harbour Porpoise Release Program.
Initiated in 1991, the HPRP has led researchers and fishermen to work
co-operatively to successfully release over 350 trapped porpoises from
herring weirs without compromising the herring catch. A specially
designed net (mammal seine) is also available for use by fishermen. This
allows the fishermen to "sweep" the porpoise out of the weir
without handling the porpoise and without losing the herring catch,
since the net has a large mesh size allowing the herring to swim through
the net and remain in the weir. The mesh is small enough, however, that
porpoises will not go through and can be forced out of the herring weir.
This is particularly useful when large numbers of porpoises are
entrapped (we have had 14 in one weir at one time). Our mammal seine is
also used to remove large marine vertebrates from the herring weirs,
such as basking sharks and bluefin tuna. We have also developed
techniques, and assist where possible, for those times when larger
whales become entrapped, such as minke, humpback and right whales. We
recently developed a manual and flash card to assist fishermen in
removing harbour porpoises and other large species if we are unavailable
to assist. This is in the final stage of development and will be
available in hard copy and also on our web site shortly. The GMWSRS is
also an important component of recent efforts to disentangle large
whales, including right, humpback and finback whales, from fishing gear
in the Bay.
porpoise being supported by GMWSRS
staff, to be released outside the weir.
Note the use of a specially designed large mesh
mammal seine to assist in the capture of the porpoise
without compromising the herring catch.
(photo: Ashley Dayer, GMWSRS)
New Brunswick Stranding Network (NBSN)
A joint project with the New Brunswick Museum is underway to build a
network of individuals and organizations who can respond to strandings
of marine mammals along the shores of New Brunswick. The majority of
animals that strand are single animals that died at sea (from illness,
injury, entanglement or collisions) and washed ashore. Single live
stranded animals are rare and are usually in poor condition or have made
a mistake such as being caught by an out-going tide and are not likely
to survive. Sometimes, seal pups have been orphaned but more likely are
temporarily separated from their mothers. Although few resources are
available to deal with strandings of sick, injured or abandoned seal
pups or live strandings of whales, dolphins or porpoises, it is
important to report dead animals so that carcasses can be recovered and
examined. Much information can be gathered from these that will further
our knowledge of the species. Members of the NBSN will try to attend as
many strandings as possible but at present we will be limited in the
extent to which we can respond, especially in remote areas. We hope that
by building a network of individuals and groups, we can begin to respond
to more reports. Strandings can be reported directly to the New
Brunswick Museum or the GMWSRS or through the Environmental Emergency
Number 1-800 565-1633, operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. This number
is located on the inside cover of phone books and can be used for
strandings for other provinces as well (Prince Edward Island, Nova
Head area of a
dead harbour porpoise.
Valuable information about the health and biology
of the animal was obtained from a detailed
dissection and analysis of the carcass.
To mark the millennium, to increase our contribution to the young
people of Bay of Fundy and to pay tribute to the late Dr. Gaskin (our
former executive director), we now offer a paid summer internship.
Preference is given to (in the following order) residents of Grand Manan,
Charlotte County, Bay of Fundy, and maritime provinces. Gaskin Fellows
are expected to participate in daily research activities as well as