Mériscope Marine Research Station

Blue whales at the krill buffet – as singles, pairs and trios
Blue whale surface feeding

2nd Jan. 2016 – Six blue whales in one day, in an area of less than 50 square kilometers, that’s the kind of observation that has become less common in the St. Lawrence Estuary in the last ten years. It is a good indication that the krill buffet must be rewarding, since these whales are feeding on krill swarms at the same spot for many hours.     more ...
Photo: Blue whale feeding at the surface (© Gessica Gambaro)

Mériscope gets airborne – with a remotely operated multicopter video camera
Drone video camera

22 Sept. 2015 – It’s the kind of stuff you are dreaming about as a marine biologist – a high-end camera drone. Recently, a generous sponsor provided the Mériscope with a Phantom Pro drone, equipped with a HD camera and a remote monitoring and controlling panel. The drone opens a whole range of exciting possibilities, from aerial imaging of coastal areas and research operations to ...     more ...
Photo: Getting acquainted with the drone (© Gessi Gambaro)

St. Lawrence belugas: portrait of an endangered population in decline
Examining beluga body

25 July 2015 – A sad day for the beluga population of the St. Lawrence, with two dead belugas reported to the Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network of the St. Lawrence Estuary and adjacent gulf. Despite legal protection since 1979 and a comprehensive recovery strategy, the beluga ...     more ...
Photo: Mériscope team examining the beluga body (© Mériscope / Johanne Lemieux)

Contaminants and their effects on whales of the St. Lawrence
Collecting biopsy

16 Oct. 2014 – “Together we have the power to protect the ocean”: inspired by the theme of the World Oceans Day 2014, the Mériscope launches a 4-year research program on contaminants and their effects on minke whales and belugas of the St. Lawrence estuary, in close collaboration with other research groups, universities, Canadian federal authorities, and the Marine Mammal ...   more ...
Photo: Taking a biopsy from a blue whale (© Dany Zbinden)

New research station in Longue-Rive
New research station

6 Sep. 2014 – Some of you may have heard it through the grape vine: the Mériscope has recently concluded a partnership agreement with the Municipality of Longue-Rive, laying the foundation for a permanent research station and an interpretation center in the former church of Sault-au-Mouton.   more ...
Photo: Our new research station in Longue-Rive (© Yves Fabe)

Minke whale monitoring: results of a long-term study
Celebrating 100th minke whale

27 Oct. 2013 – In the framework of our minke whale monitoring project, the Mériscope team has analyzed the sighting data of the years 2001-2013. Two direct results of this study are a bachelor thesis at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the launch of our minke whale catalogue.    more ...
Photo: Celebrating the one hundredth minke whale of the catalogue ! (© Pierre Bolduc)

„Whales & Sails” - Sailing in a whale paradise
Whales & Sails

27 Jan. 2013 – Travel along one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes of Canada with a sailboat, discover baleen whales and belugas, assist in an on-going research project, follow the rhythm of the tides and the wind – is there a better way to enjoy the sea with all its facets and to support a research project on marine mammals at the same time?    more ...
Photo: Sailboat on a mission in the fjord (© Voile Mercator)

International Polar Year 2012 Conference in Montreal
CCGS Amundsen

4 May 2012 – The International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 "From Knowledge to Action" Conference was held in Montreal from April 22-27. This conference, together with the preceding workshop for polar educators, was clearly one of the most stimulating networking and learning experiences I have ever had.    more ...
Photo: Canadian Coast Guard ship "CCGS Amundsen"(© AOSB)

Expo-Science 2012 in Bergeronnes, Québec
Mériscope display

4 Feb. 2012 - On February 2nd, the Expo-Science 2012 took place in Bergeronnes on the upper north shore of the St. Lawrence estuary. The exhibit, which was at its second edition this year, attracts some 300 students, the general public, and the media. As part of the Mériscope's public outreach program, we have participated in the Expo-Science 2012 ...   more ...
Photo: The Mériscope booth (© Mériscope/Dany Zbinden)

Highlights of the field season 2011
Radio tracking the finback tags

30 Nov. 2011 – The summer season 2011 was remarkable with regard to both, the field work and the lab projects. We were able to get substantial distribution data of minke whales, blue whales, and belugas for our habitat model. In an attempt to recover two radio tags for Dr. Brian Kot from Texas A&M University ...    more ...
Photo: Tracking radio tags with a float plane
(© Mériscope/Dany Zbinden)

Course program 2011 on the biology and research of marine mammals
Blue whale fluking

30 Dec. 2010 - In 2011, we are again offering field courses in marine mammalogy at our field site on the St. Lawrence North Shore to students and the general public. These courses last two weeks, include 5-6 day trips at sea, accommodation and meals, and several talks and lab sessions on the biology of marine mammals. For information on prices and registration, see Education.
Photo: Blue whale fluking (© Mériscope/Brian Kot)

Passive acoustic monitoring of belugas and harbour porpoises – new studies on the effects of anthropogenic noise
Belugas female-calve-female

1 June 2010 - This season, we will be conducting passive acoustic monitoring of belugas and harbour porpoises in the St. Lawrence, in close collaboration with the German Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund and the University of Greifswald (Germany). The aim of the beluga study is to compare call rates between three acoustically different marine habitats ...   more ...
Photo: Two females and a calf (© Mériscope/Dany Zbinden)