2021, we are back!
After the 2020 season was cancelled for the first time in 42 years of activity, we are overjoyed to be back at the Mingan Island Cetacean Study for the 2021 season. Researchers and volunteers at the station are doing everything they can to follow sanitary directions closely and avoid an outbreak. To do so, the research team constitutes a closed bubble, which unfortunately implies that we cannot welcome visitors on our boats. However, we expect that the research sessions program will be back next year, because we love to share our passion and expertise with those of you who want to join our team of biologists for a week of hands-on experience!
Picking up our activities in the Mingan islands and the start of a research season comes with a heavy work-load: we must get the station up and running again after almost two years of inactivity and do maintenance on buildings and boats, and at the same time we are training three new recruits who are joining us for the first time. We hope to have at least one boat in the water in the next few days.
Due to the circumstances, we are now functioning with less than half our usual workforce. Therefore, depending on the weather and staff availability, the museum is open only on certain days for self-tours. It is a good idea to call or write to us the day before for more information. When the museum is open, QR links to be scanned with a smartphone, movies and even a new quiz will allow guests to enjoy the exhibit independently. A few items are on sale in the boutique and donations are always welcome, because they help support our research on Saint-Lawrence cetaceans over this new season.
Meanwhile, in the St Lawrence, whales don’t care about human pandemics! Near Gaspé, our collaborator René Roy observed the presence of Finback whales and Humpback whales, including superstars Fleuret, Irisept, Bolt and Lazy Zhu. In Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, looking through our office windows or peeking out of the boat garage, we already see Humpback whales and Minke whales roaming and feeding near the coast. The whole team is impatient to finally be at sea and give you more news of what’s going on out there!