Whale & Seabird News - Summer 2002
 21 years.
(previous newsletters: 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 )

Table of Contents:


On December 5, 2001 we were awarded a Gulf of Maine Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (  Visionary Awards are presented annually to ten individuals or organizations, two from each of the five jurisdictions bordering the Gulf of Maine (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts). “Visionaries” are recognized for innovation, creativity and commit-ment to marine protection, and making a difference to the health of the Gulf of Maine. 

New Brunswick Environment and Local Government Minister Kim Jardine said " The Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station has made an important contribution to our ability to understand and thus protect marine mammals and seabirds living in the Gulf of Maine waters.  The station has assisted whale watch operators to develop and adopt a code of ethics in order to protect the marine mammals and seabirds they encounter during their activities. The Station also provides visiting tourist and natural history groups with information so they can better understand what they see in the waters around Grand Manan, and has conducted a harbour porpoise release program to help fishermen release harbour porpoises from their herring weirs.  The station also provides facilities for researchers to conduct their work on whales and seabirds, and operate a natural history museum that includes a large collection of skeletons of marine mammals."

The framed award will be on display in our museum.


Weir Release News
The Harbour Porpoise Release Program, HPRP, has been in operation since 1991 and works co-operatively with local weir operators.  Herring weirs are ingenious fish traps usually fixed to the bottom and constructed of stakes and netting, positioned to corral herring as they move along shorelines. Over 630 porpoises have been released from weirs in the Bay of Fundy through this program since 1991, including the phenomenal year of 2001 when more porpoises were in weirs than anyone could ever recall. 

Summary of harbour porpoises in weirs in 2001.
We recorded 317 porpoises in weirs around Grand Manan, plus an additional pair in a weir on Campobello.  Of these 317, 51 swam out on their own and 244 were released by us and 5 were released by weir fishermen.  Fourteen porpoises died while we were attempting to seine them out, and the fates of the last three are unknown.  Our success rate was 94.6% and in a year with so many porpoises, this is extremely successful.

These unprecedented entrapment rates resulted in an extremely busy year; we seined a total of 102 times from July 9 to September 21, and it was not unusual to seine 4-6 times in a single day (the snorkelers began to feel as though they were living in their drysuits!).  The mammal (predator) seine was used frequently, accounting for more than 2/3 of the seines we attended.  Demand for this seine was high, often with two or three weirs needing to use it on a tide; we are helping the local fishermen's association in their efforts to construct a second mammal seine for use next year to meet this need and alleviate some of the congestion associated with the existing mammal seine.

In 2001 we more than doubled our previous live release record of 113 porpoises in 1993.  Recent release totals have been much lower: 13 in 2000, 48 in 1999, and 12 in 1998. 

In addition to the porpoises, four minke whales were released from Grand Manan weirs using the mammal seine.  Although there were many more porpoises in weirs this year, the number of minke whales did not show any increase over previous years, suggesting that the factors influencing weir entrapment may be different for these two species.

Data collected from porpoises in 2001. 
Of the 244 porpoises we released, data were gathered from 214 of them.  We had almost twice as many males (137) as we did females (77).  We measured the standard lengths (from tip of the rostrum ["nose"] to the notch in the flukes) on 122 males and 70 females.  Porpoises of all sizes and ages swam into weirs (adult males and females, juveniles and calves).  We clipped small, uniquely numbered plastic rototags (used on sheep and pigs) on the dorsal fins of the 214 porpoises (red for females, yellow for males - we change colours every year); these tags allow us to identify individuals if they are later resighted.  We released the other 30 individuals (many of these were swept out, rather than seined) without recording genders, sizes, or fitting them with rototags.

Although we have been putting rototags on porpoises for the past 15 years, we usually don't see many after they have been released.  However we had 18 repeat visitors in 2001 who were already fitted with rototags. 

The majority of our repeat visitors were tagged in 2001, but we did have five porpoises return from previous years - one as far back as 1992!  This animal was already an adult in 1992 when we released him.  The average lifespan of a harbour porpoise is 10-15 years, and they become sexually mature at age 4.  Thus our 1992 returnee would have been at least 13 years old in 2001, making him fairly old for a porpoise!  Three of the rototagged porpoises were caught more than twice, suggesting that the seining and release experiences certainly do not deter all animals from swimming back into another weir.

Health of the local porpoise population
We collected blood samples from 57 of the porpoises released as part of a long-term study aimed at monitoring the health of the local porpoise population.  These blood samples are sent to the Saint John Regional Hospital for counts of red and white blood cells, and to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph for analysis of enzymes and chemistry.  Preliminary analysis of the blood indicates that porpoises around Grand Manan are generally in good health.  This year we did notice a few porpoises with small ulcerations on their skin, and three animals with parasitic copepods (sea lice) on them. 

Analysis of blood hormone levels also allows us to determine whether females are pregnant. All eight females that were large enough to be adults showed signs of being pregnant…not surprising as we would expect most or all female porpoises in this population to be simultaneously pregnant and nursing a calf each year. 

Satellite tags.
We deployed satellite tags on four male porpoises.  When these porpoises are at the surface (i.e. when they surface to breathe) the tags transmit information to orbiting satellites. These data are then transmitted to a ground station and we access the positions via computer downloads.  These tags allow us to remotely track the movements of porpoises for between six months and a year, limited by battery life; larger batteries for longer tracks would make the tags too big for porpoises.  The porpoises fitted with electronic tags are listed in the following table (we name each one).  Pierre has broken our previous record of 212 days of tracking (over 250 days and counting); Owen has also broken the record.  Both tags may continue for several more months. Note: Pierre's transmitter stopped at 280 days, Owen's at 265 days!
Mass (kg)
Length (cm)
Date released
Last signal
July 25
April 30, 2002
August 9
October 28, 2001
August 17
November 8, 2001
August 25
May 15, 2002

Follow the porpoises on the Web
Those with Internet access can track the movements of these porpoises via a website designed for public schools by Wheelock College in Massachusetts.  It is hoped that young students will increase their interest in science if they can see real data as scientists collect them.  Wheelock College donates electronic tags to us and to other researchers.  In exchange, we provide them with data we collect to be used on their web page, called Whalenet.  You can check out the travel paths of the porpoises listed above as well as ones tagged in the past  by going to this web address:

An Unusual Release.
To our surprise, we added a new species to the Release Program.  The morning of September 6 found us rescuing a female ruby-throated hummingbird from the twine of one of the weirs.  Once we fed her sugar water and she warmed up in the sun, she preened herself and then flew away with another humming-bird that had ventured into our backyard.

Support for the Harbour Porpoise Release Program.
The HPRP was funded by many sources this year, and we would like to thank all of them for helping us make it through the summer.  Because of the high number of releases in 2001, we faced considerable financial challenges, keeping up with both the logistical costs of running the program and our seining costs.  We received initial support for the Release Program from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Connors Brothers, and donations from individuals to the Research Station.  By the end of July, however, funds from these sources were completely exhausted.  Fortunately we were able to secure emergency funding from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, as well as support from the United States Marine Mammal Commission, the Humane Society of the United States, the New England Aquarium and the Chicago Zoological Society.  Funds and support provided by these organizations and individuals were of critical importance to the success of the Release Program, and we owe all a sincere thanks for their help.

Porpoise entrapments seem to rise and fall in cycles; we suspect we are in a peak period and anticipate another busy season in 2002.  Events over the past months have made this a difficult time for fundraising from environmental organizations and our previous successful fund raising from these organizations may be jeopardized.  To generate sufficient funds to run the HPRP we therefore encourage you to support the 2002 release program by checking the appropriate box on the donation form with your donation and in return we will provide a tax-deductible receipt.

Educational Material
We completed the distribution of Porpoise Release manuals and flashcards to weir operators, community groups and other interested parties in the Fundy area.  These describe our techniques for the safe release of harbour porpoises and will be helpful if we are unable to assist in the release of porpoises in other areas of the Bay of Fundy. They are also available as downloadable files from our website.  Funds for the development of this outreach material was provided earlier by the Fundy Community Foundation in St. Andrews. 

Dry Suits 
Given the amount of time spent in the water in 2001, our snorkelers were grateful for the donation by Abyss of a dry suit for use in the HPRP.  We also purchased a second suit and snorkeling gear.  Dry suits allow our snorkelers to work in more comfort than in wet suits.


Right Whale Notes

  • The year 2001 was a record for right whales in many ways - more births (31) and more deaths (7) than any other year in over 20 years of study.  There was also a large research effort in the Bay of Fundy from the New England Aquarium, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Oregon State University, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, Dalhousie University, Department of National Defense (Canada), and East Coast Ecosystems
  • As reported in the last newsletter the best news was the birth of 31 right whale calves.  This is the largest number of births recorded since intensive study of this population began in the early 1980s.  Unfortunately 4 calves died, two the result of ship strike while they were accompanying their mothers on their northward migration and two where death could not be determined because the carcasses were not recovered. 
  • In 2001 right whales were again here in early June and by mid June the first mother/calf pair was seen.  This was the first pair in the Bay since 1997 because of three poor calving years.  This first female was #1701 or Aphrodite.  Of the 31 calves born, at least half spent some time in the Bay.  Their actions were entertaining and delightful to see with calves often associating with other calves complete with rambunctious aerial behaviour. With the large numbers of calves in the Bay at any one time, when females surfaced they might be approached by several calves, associate with one or more and leave with yet another - presumably theirs.  It was sometimes difficult to tell who belonged to whom.  To promote a conservative approach to watching right whales in 2001, we distributed information to whale watch operators on how to watch right whales, especially mother/calf pairs, without disturbance. 
  • An unusual concentration of right whales beginning in mid-August was found along the ferry route from Bar Harbor, ME to Yarmouth, NS.  This ferry, "The Cat", is a fast catamaran ferry traveling at 30-40 knots or 55-75 kph.  The ferry attempted to avoid right whales, changing course whenever possible.  The concentration of right whales was still present when the ferry finished its run for the year in early October.  Fortunately no collisions were reported; the ferry has had marine mammal observers on board since it began its run a few years ago. 
  • In October a dead male right whale (#1238) was discovered on the Magdalene Islands.  The animal had been entangled in rope.  A team conducted a necropsy or dissection and the skeleton was collected by the Canadian Museum of Natural History.  A cause of death has not been reported.
  • During a routine flight in Early December the Canadian Coast Guard Pollution Patrol spotted a dead whale floating upside down 115 km off Nova Scotia in the offshore shipping route from North America to Europe.  Analysis of the photos revealed a dead right whale, probably a female.  Because of the distance from shore, the carcass was not recovered and a cause of death could not be determined.  This brought the total dead right whales to seven for 2001.
  • Aerial surveys in October revealed large numbers of right whales still in the Bay.  In November, Laurie was fortunate to spot a courtship group of six right whales just off Grand Manan with two other individuals in the distance.  Because some Grand Manan lobster fishermen set traps where right whales may be present we individually contacted fishermen to alert them of the continuing presence of right whales.  If lobster fishermen see right whales they usually work another area until the whales move off to avoid tangling the whale in gear.  The last right whales were seen in the Bay of Fundy in December.  Shortly thereafter, right whales were also seen in their winter area off Florida.  Five mother/calf pairs from the past summer were spotted.  Most calves separate from their mothers sometime during the fall migration but these calves obviously weren't ready to leave.  Calving is less than 2001 with 18 calves reported as of April, but above the average of about 10-12 calves.
  • Six years of an opportunistic data base of numbers, locations and photographs of marine mammal, seabird, basking shark and other sightings collected annually by Laurie, while acting as a whale watch naturalist with Grand Manan SeaLand  Adven-tures, have been entered into computer files by Eastern Charlotte Waterways. GIS maps can be generated from these data which have a variety of uses.  Additional years will be added in the future. 
Disentanglement Efforts in 2001
Only one entangled right whale was seen in the Bay of Fundy in 2001.  The entanglement was minor and no action was taken.  However, we all followed the plight of Churchill (#1102) who was found badly entangled in rope  off Cape Cod in early June.  The disentanglement efforts of a team from the United States and the whale's journey from Cape Cod to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and back was well documented in the news media.  Several attempts were made to disentangle Churchill including using sedation but none were fully successful.  His travels were monitored by a satellite buoy attached to trailing rope.  Much of the time nothing could be done because he was traveling offshore, beyond the safety limits of the disentanglement team.  By September he was extremely thin, a new satellite transmitter was attached and monitoring continued.  Two weeks later (Sept. 16) the satellite transmissions ended.  It is presumed he died and because of his thin condition, sank.  Another male right whale (#2427) with a similar entanglement to Churchill was successfully disentangled in the Gulf of Maine in late July.  Some of the baleen plates remained protruded from the mouth after disentanglement.  This whale was seen subsequently in a number of places including the eastern Bay of Fundy.  It is hoped the plates will return to a more normal position with time.  In February 2002 #1424, an adult male was seen in Florida waters with rope through his mouth.  The whale is being monitored and because the entanglement is similar to Churchill, it is of great concern.

Recovery Plan
The GMWSRS continues to serve on the Implementation Team of the Canadian Right Whale Recovery Plan. Addressing issues around shipping and fishing and interactions with right whales have been identified as priorities and two committees have been formed.  Dr. Moira Brown is spearheading the ship/right whale committee and has been investigating a shift in the shipping lanes for the Port of Saint John.  The Marine Resource Centre in Cornwalis, NS is chairing the fishing/right whale committee.  To promote public education of the best methods of watching right whales we have applied for funding to produce information pamphlets and posters aimed at recreational boaters.  These would be produced this summer and fall.  Included in the proposal is an upgrade of our museum (see below) and an educational package for teachers.

Whale Watching
We continued to work with whale watch operators and attended meetings to form a Fundy-wide organization.  We also prepared guidelines for watching right whales and in particular mothers and calves with the least disturbance.  In late April we hosted a social gathering of Grand Manan whale watch operators as a thank you for their support for our conservation efforts and to celebrate our 20th anniversary.


Rob Ronconi and Sarah Wong received funding to conduct nesting seabird surveys of the Grand Manan archipelago in 2001 from the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry (CCHREI) - Environmental Youth Corp.. Equipment support for the project was also provided by ALERT, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Eastern Charlotte Waterways, Halltech Environmental Outfitters, and Mountain Equipment Co-op.  Rob and Sarah braved the rather chilly weather and began their study on April 17.  The Maritimes greeted them with a late snow storm the next day.  With only electric space heaters in the Research Station they looked forward to warmer weather.  Despite the long hours in the field they successfully prepared a garden plot and planted a well-received, bountiful vegetable garden. 

Rob, Sarah and their assistant Lesley Thorne successfully surveyed most of the outer islands in the archipelago.  Standardized and repeatable survey techniques which can be used for future surveys were developed.  Rob and Sarah produced the fourth in our GMWSRS bulletin series "Seabird Colonies of the Grand Manan Archipelago: 2001 Census Results and Guidelines for Surveys and Future Monitoring".  Other papers are also in preparation.

Some of their findings include population estimates for black guillemots (n=1359) with 48% of these breeding primarily on Kent Island, Outer Wood Island, Southwest Head and the Bishop.  Great black-backed and herring gull colonies were estimated at 602 and 11,809 breeding pairs respectively with Kent Island supporting the largest population of herring gulls (n=5,926).  Common eider nesting females were estimated at 3,370 with Outer Wood, Great Duck and Kent Island having the highest numbers.  Four double-crested cormorant colonies were identified on three islands for a total of 147 pairs.  A single colony of eight pairs of common terns persists on Sheep Island.  Yellow Murre ledge is the only breeding colony of common murres in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine.  It was estimated 424 common murres and 281 razorbills were present on the ledge.  To avoid disturbance, counts were done remotely and actual nesting pairs could not be determined.  The difficulty of finding Leach's petrel burrows precluded cal-culating estimates of nests but breeding was confirmed on three islands and suspected on two others.  Data estimates from Bowdoin College are 25,400 petrel pairs on Kent Island for 2000-1.  Black-crowned night heron and Great Blue heron colonies, bald eagle, raven and Canada geese nests were also found.


VISITORS: Visitor numbers topped 10,300, exceeding the record set in 1999 of 10,200.   We were open most days from June to Thanksgiving in October.  Our museum is well used by organizations such as Whale Camp, Elderhostel, the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, and the Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, Laurie is a regular June visitor to the community school kindergarten class.  The class also visits the museum as one of their final activities in June.  We received a lovely donation of seven children's sweaters for the gift shop from Anne Koopman.  They were hot items, quickly selling out. Our sales reflected the increased number of visitors.   The proceeds allow us to keep the GMWSRS functioning.  The success of our museum/gift shop could not have been realized without the assistance of our two museum attendants, Crystan and Lacresha.  A grant from the Human Resources Development Canada helped with salaries.

DISPLAYS:  Our museum remains free to the public, although many guests give a small donation.  Rob Ronconi and Sarah Wong prepared a poster of their studies of nesting seabirds which was a great addition to our research section.  They also arranged for a number of seabirds to be taxidermied for our display.  We are looking forward to a major facelift of the museum in 2002.


To mark the millennium, to increase our contribution to the young people of Bay of Fundy and to pay tribute to the late Dr. Gaskin we now offer a paid summer internship. Preference is given to (in the following order) residents of Grand Manan, Charlotte County, Bay of Fundy, and Maritime provinces. Richie Morgan, our museum attendant from 2000 was the second Gaskin Fellow.  Rob Ronconi and Sarah Wong made several presentations to the Grand Manan Community school in the fall to promote the Gaskin Fellowship and interest young students in our activities.  Donations to the Dr. David Gaskin Memorial Fund will be used to fund this position.  Please mark the appropriate box on the enclosed donation form if you wish to help us with this program.


DIRECTORS: Ivan Green ,  Heather Koopman, Laurie Murison
SENIOR SCIENTISTS: Dr. Andy Read Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC.
Dr. Heather Koopman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Post-doctoral Scholar
Dr. Aleksija Neimanis
SENIOR RESEARCH BIOLOGISTS: Duke University, Beaufort, NC: 
Tara Cox, M.Sc., Ph.D. student 
Dave Johnston, M.Sc., Ph.D. student, and on staff at the International Marine Mammal Association, Guelph, ON. 
Andrew Westgate, M.Sc. PhD. student 
Andy LoSchiavo, CEM Masters student, Duke University
Rob Ronconi, B.Sc.
Sarah Wong, B.Sc.
Ken Ingersoll, Grand Manan 
Jennifer Storey, Ottawa, ON
Lesley Thorne, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Richie Morgan, Grand Manan
Crystan Webber, Grand Manan
Lacresha Fleet, Grand Manan
VOLUNTEERS (Grand Manan):
Gordon & Wiley Kempton, Grand Manan
Eleanor Linberg, Schenectady, NY
Sarah McDonald, Grand Manan
Marion Murison, Grand Manan
Wendie Schneider, Grand Manan
Sue Stymests, Pickering, ON
Dr. Don Bowen, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, NS
Jennifer Graham & Brian Hooker, Duke University, Durham, NC 
Dr. Sara Iverson, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Dr. Johan Lindsjö, Sweden
Laura Minich & Catherine Williams, Bowdoin College, ME
Dr. Doug Nowacek, Stephanie Nowacek, Dee Allen, Susan Parks, Krill Carson, Alec Bocconcelli, Alex Loer, Alex Shorter, Dr. Peter Tyack and family, Mark Johnson and others, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, MA, worked on right whale issues. 
Katie Touhey, Cape Cod Stranding Network
Tonya Wimmer & Billy Fraser, Cape Breton Stranding Network
Mark Grant, Charlotte, NC
Anne & Arnold Koopman, Campbellville, ON
Dr. Ieva & John Neimanis, Hamilton, ON
Lisa McLaughlin, Guelph, ON
Dr. Ken, Jan & Kate Storey, Ottawa, ON
Dr. John & Cora Westgate, Toronto, ON
Vicki Westgate, Alec, Madeleine and Noah Ross, Toronto, ON
Bill Curtsinger, his wife and son Owen, Heather Perry, and Dianna, Yarmouth, ME; website:

David Barbara, Rahway, NJ
Robert Gaddy, St. Louis, MO
Joan Guilfoyle, St. Paul, MN
Hal Hepler, East Lansing, MI
Judith Rock, Troy, ME
Eleanor Linberg, Schenectady, NY

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Dr. Shirley Alcoe, Fredericton, NB
Sam Aronson, Gladwyne, PA
E. & Jack Batchelor, Blue Mounds, WI
Dr. Hugh Best, Manotick, ON
Mary-Anne Bracewell, Guelph, ON
Mary Lou Campbell, Toronto, ONT
Theodore Carroll, Squamish, BC
Peter Castelli, Gladwyne, PA
Justin Chen, King of Prussia, PA
Laura Chestnut, Merion Station, PA
Ann Chudleigh, Wakefield, QUE
Ray Cousins, Aurora, ON
Pat Cove, Perth-Andover, NB
Marie Crawford, Etobicoke, ON
Helene Curry, Toronto, ON
Brenda Dale, Sherwood Park, AB
Eva Dale, Calgary, AB
Halton Dalzell, Fredericton, NB
Ron & Nina Davies, Amherstburg, ON
K.G. Davis, Nepean, ON
Tracey Dean, Bayside, NB
Ernest Donaldson, Belwood, ON
Fred Downing, Nepean, ON
Cathy Drury, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC
Samantha Eisenberg, Merion Stn, PA
B. Brian & A. Fischhoff, Pittsburgh, PA
Jacob Fogel, Narberth, PA
J.& Eleanor Gardiner, Scarborough, ON
P.A. Gavel, Toronto, ON
Sheila Gibbs, Chatham, ON
Rolande Gough-Ellis, Belleville, ON
Joan Green, Fredericton, NB
Bill & Pam Gudgeon, Burlington, ON
Joan Guilfoyle, St. Paul, MN
Sam Guzzardi, Merion Station, PA
Diane Henderson, Toronto, ON
Judith Horner, Stratford, ON
Linda M. Hutchings, Calgary, AB
Doug Jackson, Fredericton, NB
Charles Jefferson, Ottawa, ON
Anne K. Jeffrey, Columbus, OH
Gary Jewell, Center Ossipee, NH
Donald and Edith Jones, Amherst, NS
R. Keyes & C. McKenna, Brunswick, ME
Natalie Kitroeff, Haverford, PA
Arnold&Ann Koopman, Campbellville, ON
Barbara Kubiak, Franklinville, NY
Linda L'Aventure, Grand Manan, NB
Andrea Lebowitz, N. Vancouver, BC
Roger LeBlanc, Moncton, NB
H. & Marion Lehman, Fredericton, NB
Nancy Lennox, Rockwell, TX
Margaret Lile, Wynnewood, PA
Eleanor Linberg, Schenectady, NY
Zachary Lobb, Narbeth, PA
Jean Loggie, Moncton, NB
Bill Lucas, Cambridge, ON
W. Macaulay, Toronto, ON
Ken MacIntosh, Blacks Harbour, NB
Kathleen MacNamara, Oakville, ON
Mary Mason, Toronto, ON
Laura Matey, Drexel Hill, PA
Dr. Rebecca McDermot, Ottawa, ON
Paul & Liz McDonnell, Fredericton, NB
Sandra McFarlane, Halifax, NS
Jonathon Milestone, Narbeth, PA
Pat Moule, Tillsonberg, ON
Kerstin Mueller, Mulgrave, NS
Mary M. Neal, Richmond Hill, ON
Mary T. Neal, Richmond Hill, ON
Dr. Ieva Neimanis, Hamilton, ON
Sally Plaskett, Scarborough, ON
Dr.Y. Prenoveau, Pierrefonds, QC
Robert Righter, Denver, CO
Lorna Ritchie, Grand Manan, NB
Gwenda Robinson, London, ON
Judith Rock, Troy, ME
Bill & Sandy Rogers, Gaithersburg, MD
Hilda Shaffelburg, Scarborough, ON
Tom Sheppard, Sudbury, ON
H. Silliker, Colpitts Settlement, NB
P. & Gretchen Simon, Balacynwyd, PA
Shirley Sloat, Fredericton, NB
Basil Small, Grand Manan, NB
Meredith Smith, Drexel Hill, PA
Marcia J. Stephen, Orillia, ON
Lloyd Strickland, Ottawa, ON
Sue Stymests, Pickering, ON
Jane Tarn, Fredericton, NB
Daniel Taillon & Marie Cousineau, Vaudreuil Dorion, QC
Susan & Mike Turner, Scarborough, ON
Rohan van Twest, Guelph, ON
Rosalie Vigna & W. Nolan, Pueblo, CO
Edith Walbridge, Mystic, QC
Harry Walker, Miramichi, NB
Doreen Wallace, Fredericton, NB
Daniel & Mary Webb, Midland, ON
Edith Weber, Wyevale, ON
Dr. S. & Anne Weiss, Haverford, PA
Anne Wentzel, Scarborough, ON
Alma and Don White, Moncton, NB
Brian Wiese, Shanty Bay, ON
Anne Wilford, Oakville, ON
Allan & Loretta Wilkins, Grimsby, ON
Jim Wolford, Wolfville, NS
Rosemarie Zucker, Toronto, ON

Dr. Maria Lynes
Wallace Teasdale

Support for Summer Student
Human Resources Development Canada (one summer student)
Support For Porpoise Research
International Marine Mammal Association
International Whaling Commission
U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (to Dr. Read)
Wheelock College 
Harbour Porpoise Release Program (HPRP) Support
Chicago Zoological Society & Brookfield Zoo
The Humane Society of the United States
International Fund for Animal Welfare (Canada & United States) 
New England Aquarium
U.S. Marine Mammal Commission
Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society
Support For Seabird Nesting Study
Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environmental Industry
New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund 
New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Abyss (dive dry suit)
Atlantic Mariculture (WCF = Whale Conservation Fund)
Connors Brothers (HPRP)
Fundy Hiking and Nature Tours
Grand Manan Divers and Adventures (WCF)
Grand Manan SeaLand Adventures (WCF)
Hole-in-the-Wall Park (WCF)
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
Northern Plastics (WCF)
Sea Watch Tours (WCF) 

ALERT (zodiac/motor use)
Eastern Charlotte Waterways (GIS base maps and data entry)
Halltech Environmental Outfitters 
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Zehrs Markets (gift certificates)

Scientific Papers, Book Chapters:
- Cox, T.M., A.J. Read, A. Solow, and N. Tregenza.  2001.  Will porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) habituate to pingers?  Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. 3:81-86.
- Lander, M.E., A.J. Westgate, R.K. Bonde, M.J. Murray. 2001.  Tagging and Tracking. In: CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine 2nd. Ed. L.A Dierauf and F.M.D. Gulland, eds.  CRC Press.  Boca Raton.
- Ronconi, R.A. and C. Cassady St. Clair. In press. Management options to reduce boat disturbance on foraging black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) in the Bay of Fundy. Biological Conservation.
- Scott, M.D. Scott, A.A. Hohn, A.J. Westgate, J.R. Nicolas, B.R. Whitaker, W.B. Campbell. 2001.  A note on the release and tracking of a rehabiliatated pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps). Journal Cetacean Research Management 3(1):87-94.
- Read, A.J. 2001. Trends in maternal investment of harbour porpoises are uncoupled from the dynamics of their primary prey. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 268: 573-577.
- Heather Koopman. 2001. The structure and function of the blubber of odontocetes. Duke University.
GMWSRS Bulletin Series
- Ronconi, R.A. and S.N.P. Wong. 2002. Seabird Colonies of the Grand Manan Archipelago: 2001 Census Results and Guidelines for Surveys and Future Monitoring.  GMWSRS Bulletin No. 4.
Learned Societies Presentations
- Cox, T.M. and A.J. Read.  Echolocation behavior of porpoises around acoustically enhanced gillnets. SMM 14th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Vancouver, BC, Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2001.
- Johnston, D.J., G.Melvin, A. Dayer and A.J. Read. Foraging behaviour of harbour porpoises in tidal convergences in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. SMM 14th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Vancouver, BC, Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2001.
- Koopman H.N., S.J. Iverson, D.A. Pabst, W.A. McLellan, R.M. Dill-aman, and A.J. Read. Regional variation in the structure and function of the blubber of small cetaceans: All blubber is not created equal. SMM 14th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Vancouver, BC, Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2001.


  • The Harbour Porpoise Release Program (entering 12th year)
  • Dave Johnston's Ph.D. work defining harbour porpoise habitat. New in 2002 photo-identification of finback and minke whales using same area. 
  • Harbour porpoise satellite tagging program (8th year). 
  • Continued health assessment of porpoises and studies to reduce stress of porpoises during handling.
  • New study of brucellosis occurrence in porpoises. 
  • Testing new mammal seine. 
  • Collection of marine mammal tissues for other researchers.
  • Disentanglement of large whales and response to reports of dead marine mammals on or around Grand Manan.
  • Receipt of disentanglement first responder kit (funded by Environment Canada Habitat Stewardship Program and in partnership with East Coast Ecosystems).
  • Revamping museum displays (Erin Vos, Coastal Environmental Management Masters Duke University) 
  • Public education projects including display boards at Grand Manan wharves, a recreational boater pamphlet to foster proper whale watch techniques, and a marine mammal projects workbook for environmental teachers.
  • Open as usual our marine natural history museum and gift shop - June through early October.
  • Welcoming numerous visiting scientists working on right whale projects in the Bay of Fundy.

(previous newsletters: 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 )

Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station Inc.
24 Route 776, Grand Manan, NB, Canada, E5G 1A1

© 2003 Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station Inc.

This page designed by revised October 17 2006