Support the Marine Education and Research Society by sponsoring a Humpback Whale!
All proceeds go directly toward MERS research, education, and response efforts.
With a minimum donation of $60, choose from one of the whales below and receive:
~ a card featuring a photograph of your sponsored whale,
~ a durable, eco-friendly (Greenguard certified) sticker of your sponsored whale's tail (approx. 5.5" wide),
~ 1-year online access* to sponsor-exclusive MERS Humpback Whale Sponsorship Hub, which includes your sponsored whale's biography, photos, and updates, and more exclusive content such as Humpback Whale vocals recorded off northern Vancouver Island**!
Gifting the sponsorship?
When you purchase a Humpback sponsorship as a gift, you, too, will receive exclusive online access to the MERS Humpback Whale Sponsorship Hub. Please fill out the Recipient information when you purchase the sponsorship package.
MERS Sponsorship packages are tax-deductible in Canada when purchased directly from MERS.
*Renew your (and giftee's, if applicable) access to the sponsor-exclusive MERS Humpback Whale Sponsorship Hub with an annual renewal fee of $50. This renewal fee is tax-deductible.
**The MERS Humpback Whale Sponsorship Hub will be delivering dynamic features annually, such as sponsor-exclusive live sessions with MERS researchers.
Sponsorship packages are also available at these retailers.
Already have a sponsorship?
We at MERS have known KC since 2002 when he first arrived near northeast Vancouver Island with his mother Houdini (BCX0022). "KC" is short for "Kelp Creature" since, when a first year calf, he appeared to love rolling in kelp when his mother would leave him briefly to feed. As an adult, he still seems to enjoy playing in kelp. He is a very acrobatic whale and has even ended up on the front page of a newspaper, breaching in front of Campbell River. In 2013, he was a victim of a vessel strike that left his dorsal fin badly damaged. He has also survived entanglement.
Slash is one of the two moms among our sponsorship whales. When we at MERS first saw Slash in 2006, her injuries from a large propeller were still very raw. Even now, many years later, the scarring provides evidence of the severity of this vessel strike. She is definitely a survivor, having gone on to have a calf in 2008, 2013 and 2016. Her 2008 calf is "Moonstar" (see below). Her 2013 calf is "Stitch", nick-named for the distinct white line on her tail, and her 2016 calf is "Ocular" who has extreme scarring from entanglement.
Ever since first appearing in our main study area in 2008 as a juvenile, Twister has been one of the most predictably sighted whales in our core study area. He was nicknamed by a group of students for the swirl shape on the left side of his fluke. Then, ironically, in the spring of 2009 he became severely entangled in prawn traps twice in a 3-week period. Very thankfully, the entanglements were reported by the prawn fishermen to the DFO Incident Reporting Line (1-800-465-4336) and he was rescued by those with disentanglement training.
Moonstar is Slash's 2008 calf and, ever since Slash brought Moonstar to northeast Vancouver Island that first year, he has returned to the same feeding grounds every spring. We have had the privilege of watching as Slash first taught Moonstar to lunge-feed and now know that Moonstar has also gone on to master a novel feeding behaviour we have dubbed "trap-feeding". He was one of the first two whales we documented using this technique for collecting diffuse amounts of juvenile herring and have published a paper on this research.
We have documented Argonaut around northeast Vancouver Island every year since 2009 and he has become one of the most predictably sighted whales in the area. Having been observed by thousands of whale watchers from around the world, Argonaut is quite the ambassador for his kind. The story behind Argonaut's nickname is a unique one, referencing "Jason and the Argonauts" of Greek mythology. MERS research reveals that Argonaut has survived being entangled in fishing gear at least twice.
Nick (BCX0565) - COMING SOON
Nick is one of the two super moms among our sponsorship whales. She is known to have had 4 calves – in 2008, 2010, 2018 and 2020. Sightings records of Nick off the coast of BC go back to 2002. She was then already an adult and one of the first whales who we frequently sighted off northeast Vancouver Island. In recent years, she is more regularly sighted near central Vancouver Island (Campbell River / Quadra Island / Cortes Island). She is often near Whale Town, which used to be a whaling station. She is a survivor of collision with a boat. She has also been sighted in the breeding grounds of Hawaii.