The 2021 MERS online auction will be held from Friday, April 9th at 5 pm until Sunday, April 18th at 7 pm PDT.
View the auction items at this link.
Auction items are sustainable, locally produced, have a marine theme/connection and have a proven retail value (min. $100). See past auctions here: 2018, 2019, 2020. If you are interested in contributing to the auction, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The online auction is directed at covering Marine Education and Research Society operating costs. Below is a list of some of the work accomplished in 2020 with less than 3 full-time positions. We hope this summary reflects how efficient and productive an organization MERS strives to be. This is possible through the support of many and, while we have been successful in achieving funding for some of our work, it remains challenging to cover operating costs. Highlights of work achieved by MERS in 2020 (up to November 20th)
Educational and Outreach
- Adapting to the necessity for online, virtual education, including:
- Strategic positioning of 102 additional “See a Blow? Go Slow!” signs to educate boaters on how to reduce risk to whales for a total of more than 350 signs now posted on British Columbia’s coast (see map at this link);
an initiative focused on incorporating Canada’s Marine Mammal
Regulations into both Transport Canada’s and the Canadian Power
Squadron's boater courses;
- Promoting and distributing Whale Warning Flags;
- Creating an educational member-only online resource for our Humpback Whale sponsors; and
- In development: animations to raise awareness about, and reduce, marine debris.
1,330 database entries for sightings of Humpbacks in 2020 with an
additional 1,000+ entries for sightings from previous years;
data collection and analysis of scars on Humpback Whales that indicate
they have survived entanglement(s) and drafting a manuscript focused on
the scope of this threat to Humpbacks in BC waters for publication (work
conducted in collaboration with DFO);
- Continued data collection for Humpback Whale population studies and feeding strategy research;
the efforts of those studying Humpback Whales off the coast of British
Columbia to consolidate data sets and develop a Province-wide Humpback
Whale catalogue to enable further research collaboration;
- Conducting multi-species marine mammal surveys to inform seasonal and annual changes in distribution;
- Compiling Mola / Ocean Sunfish sightings to support a study into species distribution off the coast of British Columbia; and
of Humpback Whale mouth ID photos to our cataloguing efforts, to allow
identification of trap-feeding whales by their distinctive mouth
Marine Mammal Rescue and Response
days of monitoring commercial fisheries overlapping with areas of high
whale density, to improve reporting of incidents and to respond, or
provide support to rescue efforts, when needed;
days of support for whale entanglement response by coordinating and
undertaking search efforts for known entangled Humpback Whales; and
/ coordination for 23 marine mammal incidents, ranging from violations
of the Marine Mammal Regulations to marine mammal entanglement.