Humpback whales: 2018 results

Humpback whales - 2018 catalog results                                                 Mother and calf swimming with another individual - Miller Laboratory@SMRU   Overall, 2018 was a great year for humpback whale sightings in the St.Lawrence! We identified 113 animals in total which is the second best year after 2017. Moreover, the number of calves observed in 2018 was higher than in recent...

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Drone info EN

Fin whale entanglement study: 1st year results

Fin whale entanglement project: 1st year results   The fin whale entanglement project was funded by Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. After analysing the results of our scar study, a full report was submitted to them for review.  The findings of our first year reveal that we have been underestimating the problem of entanglement for fin whales (and probably...

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41st research season

Season beginnings   The first team members arrived in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan end of May to prepare for the new season. They worked hard to get things back in order at the museum, station and blue house. Part of the 2019 MICS team ©MICS       The three boats, Rafale, Mistral and Sirocco are now all back at the dock and ready to...

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Humpback whale 'Snowball' survives entanglement

'Snowball' survives severe entanglement   Snowball entangled in ropes and buoys ©MICS   H710 aka “Snowball” was first seen in Gaspé by our team in 2007. Ever since, this female humpback whale has been a regular visitor in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and is frequently observed in Gaspé and occasionally in Mingan.   On the 8th of June 2017, our...

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Blue whale 1

Agglomeration of rorqual species in Gaspé, June 2019

An armada of whales head into the St.Lawrence Written by: Richard Sears, Founder of MICS   On June 10th 2019, aerial surveys revealed a large group of baleen whales south of Bonaventure Island off the coast of Gaspé. A few days later, on the 18th and 19th of June, our collaborator René Roy, working from the Bay of Gaspé, found...

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Mid-season review

Mid-season review.   At MICS, we are already in mid-August - time goes quickly in Longue-Pointe-De-Mingan! The beginning of the 2019 season was rather quiet, the animals arrived late in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Our collaborator René Roy has repeatedly told us about a large aggregatation of animals in Gaspé for several consecutive weeks. However, by the end of...

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Mns C/c pair

A babyboom for humpack whales!

Babyboom in humpack whales!    MICS is now half way through its 41st research season and it is time for a first resume. So far we have seen our main study species, fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and two right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). While 2018 was a record year with 8 blue whale calves, 2019 sees...

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Harbor porpoise

Portrait of a unknown specie : harbor porpoise

  Portrait of a unknown specie : harbor porpoise   The harbor porpoise (Phoconena phocoena) is a small cetacean with a maximum length of 1.9 m (6 feet) and a maximum weight of 90 kg (198 lbs). On average, they are smaller and do not exceed 1.5m (5 feet) and weigh no more than 60 kg (132 lbs). Females are...

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Did you know MICS has a museum?

Did you know MICS has a museum?   The Mingan Islands Cetacean Study station has its very own museum located in Longue-Pointe-De-Mingan, on the north shore of Quebec! The museum is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm, during the summer season only (from June to mid-September). At the museum, you can learn about the marine mammals, ecosystem...

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Portrait of an Endangered Species: The North Atlantic Right Whale

Portrait of an Endangered Species: The North Atlantic Right Whale   The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) has a stocky, rotund body shape that is mostly black in colour, sometimes with irregular white ventral patches. They do not have a dorsal fin. The distribution pattern of callosities found above the eyes and all around the rostrum of the right...

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Entanglement Study - 2019 results

Entanglement Study - 2019 results   In 2018, MICS tested a new method using drones to study the entanglement rate of fin and blue whales. It was originally thought that fishing gear was of low threat to these animals, however, we soon realized that the issue was grossly underestimated: between 42% and 52% of the fin whales we had photographed...

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2019 : seasonal review

2019 : seasonal review   The 41st season is over and the MICS field station is tucked in and ready for the winter. The team members have gone back to their homes, so it’s time to give you a little overview of what happened during the 2019 season! It was a very good year for whale encounters throughout the entire...

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Bilan de la saison 2019

Bilan de la saison 2019   La 41ème saison est terminée, nous avons officiellement fermé la station de terrain du MICS la première semaine d’octobre ! Maintenant qu’elle est prête pour affronter l’hiver rude de la Minganie et que les membres de l’équipe sont rentrés chez eux, il est temps de vous donner des nouvelles et vous faire un compte rendu...

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Beached Blue Whale - Cape Breton

We Hardly Knew You

We hardly knew you An unknown, un-catalogued blue whale was first photographed August 26-28, 2019 off Matane in the St Lawrence Estuary by the MICS team not more than 6 miles from the south shore.  It was observed in a pair with female B392, which was later seen in the company of 2 known males off Sept-Iles on the North...

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