Projects

BUILDING KNOWLEDGE

The Marine Mammal Observation Network (MMON) is very active in conservation, raising awareness and promoting the protection of the marine environment and the organisms that live there.
Building our knowledge is an important part of MMON’s activities. The knowledge-acquisition projects currently underway focus on collecting data on the presence of marine mammals in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence and describing the observation activities on these waters.

 

MMON’s network of observer-members plays an important role in this area as well.

 

Over the years, MMON has diversified its services and developed broader expertise encompassing various aspects of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Study of harbour seal use at observation sites in Bic National Park. Progress report on data collection from 1998 to 2017.

Survey on boating habits and knowledge of regulations governing the observation of marine mammals in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. March 2019

Socio-economic portrait of activities related to marine mammals in the St. Lawrence Estuary study area. March 2018.

Marine industry engagement for whale datat collection. Activity Report Seasons 2014-2018

Characterization of Marine Observations Activities (AOM) in the Gaspé Peninsula (2006 to date) and on the South Shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary (2014 to date)

Study of marine mammal activity from observation sites (Rivière-du-Loup and Cacouna) and from the Rivière-du-Loup–Saint-Siméon ferry (2014 to date).

 

Report  of marine observation activities at the site of interest of the Banc des Américains in the Gaspé Peninsula (2015-2016)

Characterization of recreational diving activities and their impacts on the natural environment and seabed around Bonaventure Island (2010-2012).

Study of harbour seals at the Petit-Gaspé haul-out site, in partnership with Université Laval and Forillon National Park (2010-2012)

Collection of Native People knowledge from Innu, Maliseet and Mi’kmaq communities on marine species at risk (2007-2008)

Evaluation of methods to reduce the problem between seals and the eel fishery in the St. Lawrence Estuary (2006-2007)

Assessment of the problem of seal interactions with fishing activities in the St. Lawrence Estuary (2004-2005)

EDUCATION AND AWARENESS

The Marine Mammal Observation Network (MMON) is very active in conservation, raising awareness and promoting the protection of the marine environment and the organisms that live there.
Education and awareness programs are a major component of MMON’s activities. The goal is to involve as many people as possible from various backgrounds in efforts to protect our marine resources, particularly marine mammals and other species at risk.

 

Over the years, the MMON team has carried out numerous projects including the construction of its interpretation centre, the St. Lawrence exploration center.

 

The team regularly leads workshops and staffs information booths, as well as offering lectures to a varied clientele. MMON also acts as the St. Lawrence Ambassador to the David Suzuki Foundation.

Creation and animation of an interpretation program on marine wildlife and history for the Rivière-du-Loup – Saint-Siméon Traverse (2017 to date)

Distribution of a kit to sea kayaking companies on the south shore of the Estuary on good navigation practices in the presence of beluga whales (2017)

Participation in the series “Le fleuve aux milles vgues” on MAtv dealing with various aspects of the St. Lawrence (2016)

Creation and animation of an interpretation program for the Bella Desgagnés, a ship that provides supplies and passenger transportation on the Lower North Shore (2016 to present)

Participation in the “Show you care, keep your distance”awareness campaign aimed at boaters on good practices to adopt in the presence of belugas (2015 to date)

Development and distribution of an interpretive kit on the St. Lawrence for Gaspé marine observation companies (2009-2010 – updated in 2015)

Establishment and management of the Station exploratoire du Saint-Laurent, an educational centre on the marine environment located in Point Park in Rivière-du-Loup (2008 to 2019)

Seabed clean-up at the Percé and Grande-Grave wharves to rehabilitate fish habitat disturbed by the mackerel sport fishery in the Gaspé Peninsula (2014)

Implementation of an eco-boating education campaign throughout the Estuary and a portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the protection of marine mammals (2010-2012)

Production of a training DVD on marine mammal identification and good observation practices for the at-sea observation industry in Quebec (2011-2012)

Production of a video on good practices in scuba diving, in collaboration with Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé and the Club nautique de Percé (2011-2012)

Realization of the campaign “Pour un Saint-Laurent bien vivant, ne rien jeter dedans” (Let’s not throw anything in) to encourage college students to properly manage their waste (2009-2010)

Development of a poster on the right behaviours to adopt in Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the Gaspé Peninsula (2010-2011)

Development and distribution of a toolkit for Native People fishers to promote proper behaviour in the presence of marine species at risk (2008-2009)

Elementary school outreach tour on marine mammals at risk. Development and distribution of an educational kit in several regions of Quebec (2001-2007)

MANAGING MARINE RESOURCES

The Marine Mammal Observation Network (MMON) is involved in integrated management of the St. Lawrence in partnership with a number of well-known companies and organizations.
Implementing an ecosystem approach, MMON has joined forces with various working groups to ensure that the marine environment of the St. Lawrence and the organisms that live there are adequately represented, while taking into account the social and economic interests of the regions involved.

 

The development of tourism in maritime Québec is also an issue MMON focuses on.

 

In short, integrated management of the St. Lawrence fosters sustainable development and promotes marine ecotourism in the region.

Participation in the Working Group on Marine Traffic and Protection of Marine Mammals in the St. Lawrence Estuary (G2T3M) (2016 to date)

Member of the Table de Concertation Régionale (TCR) of the Southern Upper Estuary which is working towards integrated management of the St. Lawrence (2014 to date)

Implementation of training for mammal observers and passive acoustic monitoring in the context of work in the marine environment (2012 to date)

Management and supervision of marine mammal observers under various marine worksite monitoring programs (2012 to present)

Production of a guide to cetaceans of the Northwest Atlantic, in collaboration with the Shipping Federation of Canada and Dalhousie University (2011-2013)

Co-Manager of the development of the City of Rivière-du-Loup’s maritime park and co-manager of the Pointe Rivière-du-Loup municipal campground (2010 to present)

Coordinator of the development committee and promoter of the Route des Navigateurs network of rest stops, an interpretive route in the Lower St. Lawrence (2009-2011)

Consultation panel on the harbor seal, preparation of an action plan for its recovery (2002-2004), and status report on the species in the St. Lawrence Estuary (2001-2002).

Responder for the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network.