Marine Mammal Response program: Annual report 2020-21
The Marine Mammal Response program annual report is comprised of incident and response data received from DFO regions and external partners across Canada during the fiscal year.
- The Campobello Whale Rescue Team (CWRT) – Canadian Whale Institute (CWI)
- Tangly Whales – Whales Release and Strandings
- Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins (GREMM)
- The Marine Animal Response Society (MARS)
- Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue
- The British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network (BCMMRN)
- The University of Montreal
- The Atlantic Veterinary College
- Dr. Steven Raverty Consulting
Between April 2020 and March 2021, there were a total of 1,594 reported incidents involving over 2,048 animals. Of the total number of incidents reported there were 1,089 responses. Of the total number of incidents reported, 296 were incidents involving Species At Risk (SARA) (several incidents were listed as an unidentifiable species; therefore, the number of incidents involving SARA species could be higher). Responses occurred for 265 of the 296 incidents reported involving SARA species. There are multiple reasons why a response to a report many not be required or may not be possible, e.g. duplicate reports of the same incident, no option for safe response, etc.
The types of incidents included:
- close vessel approaches,
- live strandings,
- injured / sick,
- sightings / free swimming,
- dead (beached and floating),
- shootings, and
- animals interacting with the public.
The types of responses included:
- freeing entangled whales and pinnipeds,
- collecting samples and performing necropsies on dead animals,
- reuniting stranded animals with their pods,
- responding to harassment calls,
- refloating live beached animals,
- monitoring sick animals,
- monitoring close approaches by vessels,
- and warming cold stunned sea turtles.
Incident numbers by region
Some reported incidents are sightings of animals where no response was possible or required but information is collected. Some incidents are also repeated multiple times (each call that comes in is recorded to show the level of activity of the hotlines). These issues are the reason why number of responses can be different from the number of reports received.
There were a total of 719 incidents reported and 719 responses performed. Of the responses performed, 223 were for SARA listed species.
There were a total of 435 incidents reported and 160 responses performed. Of the responses performed, 22 were for SARA listed species.
There were a total of 158 incidents reported and 78 responses performed. Of the responses performed, 12 were for SARA listed species.
There were a total of 241 incidents reported and 105 responses performed. Of the responses performed, 3 were for SARA listed species.
There were a total of 41 incidents reported and 27 responses performed. Of the responses performed, 5 were for SARA listed species.
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