Whale & Seabird News - Summer 2006
 25 years and counting.  

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

Our annual newsletter describes our activities in the previous year and outlines plans for the current year.

Table of Contents:

Begun in 1991, the Harbour Porpoise Release Program is a successful co-operative program between the GMWSRS and weir operators.  From 1991 to 2005, we have released more than 800 porpoises from weirs around Grand Manan Island.

In 2005 we saw very few entrapments coupled with the lowest herring catch in Grand Manan weirs in recent history.  The herring remained just offshore and did not come inshore at night around the island.  Herring did go into some weirs around Deer and Campobello Islands and we had reports of entrapments. We had no porpoises die in 2005.

The 2005 Harbour Porpoise Release Program began in early July with the arrival of the release team at the field station on Grand Manan.  Formal weir checks began on July 11th and were carried out until September 1st.  In 2005 the Release Program recorded a total of 24 porpoises in weirs.  This was well down from the 122 recorded in 2004.  Usually entrapments peak in August and this trend was seen in 2005. Of these 24, 10 swam out unassisted and nine were released. No porpoises died while we were attempting to release them, and the fates of the remaining five are unknown.  This gave us an overall live release rate of 100 %.  We seined for harbour porpoises a total of six times, between July 19 and September 7.  In addition to the 24 porpoises, a single minke whale was documented in a Grand Manan weir.  This animal was swept out on September 30th by weir fishermen.  There were no other whales reported in weirs during 2005.

The 2005 season was characterized by an island-wide collapse in herring landings and because of this few porpoise entrapments were recorded.  Many of the porpoises that were recorded in weirs swam out on their own (42%) and we attribute this to the fact that there was no herring in the weir.  In a typical season, each weir would have several hundred tons of fish inside, and we believe that the dense schooling behaviour of the herring may serve to obscure the weir entrance both visually and acoustically.  It could also be related to the fact that there was no prey present in the weir and porpoises were motivated by hunger to find their way out more quickly.

A large portion of our success is due to the frequent use of our mammal seines.  These nets are used to release porpoises and whales while leaving herring inside the weir.  We helped develop the first mammal seine in 1991 and also helped in obtaining the second larger net in 2002.  Our data show that porpoise mortality rates are far less when fishermen use the mammal seine (2%) vs. a herring seine (11%) so we strongly encourage its use.  We have discovered that individual seines are better suited for use in specific weirs and as such guide the fishermen on which seine to use.  We hope to replace the original seine, which is beginning to show signs of serious wear, sometime in the next few years.

In 2005 we also began to look at the energetic value of the herring in the Bay of Fundy from the perspective of the animals that eat it.  Although herring (which are energy-dense) serve as their primary prey for many predators (seabirds, porpoises, dolphins, fin, minke and humpback whales, sharks, bluefin tuna) in the highly productive waters of the Bay of Fundy, little is known about how the energetic value of this important resource varies seasonally or annually.  Working in cooperation with the local weir fishery, we initiated a herring collection program to begin looking at lipid (fat) content and composition in these fish.  Data analyzed to date suggest that the nutritional value of these fish does vary seasonally and with the class of fish.  More intensive sampling will take place in the next two summers (2006-2007), and the project will become the focus of Hillary Lane’s M.Sc. project (Hillary was a research assistant in 2005).

Funding in 2005 is summarized in the Funding section. We are still hoping to receive sufficient funding to study methods that might mitigate (reduce or prevent) entrapments. Previous grant proposals to pursue this important study have not been successful.


Right Whale Poop

Heather Koopman specializes in studying lipids or fats in marine mammals—primarily porpoises and whales.  She, of course, is also one of the long term members of the Harbour Porpoise Release Team.  She became curious about right whale faeces because they tend to float at the surface which means that the whales may not be using all of the fats they consume (since fat floats in water) but are excreting some of them. 

Most energetics models assume that the whales use all the fats in their food.  The diet of right whales is zooplankton including copepods and krill.  Most of the copepods that right whales are targeting in the summer and fall in the Bay of Fundy are ones that are resting before maturing into adults the following summer.  Each has a large storage globule of fat for this resting phase since they are not actively feeding.  This is presumed to be a rich food source for the right whales.

Right whale faeces or poop has been regularly collected for the past three years as part of a project coordinated by Dr. Roz Rolland of the New England Aquarium (NEAq).  Yes it does float at the surface, is usually a reddish colour and it STINKS.  In fact, the NEAq have been using sniffer dogs on boats to find floating poop.  Their objectives include detecting reproductive and stress hormones, determining levels of biotoxins from phytoplankton and looking for any diseases or parasites. 

For Heather’s analyses she needed both poop (which Laurie and the NEAq provided) and zooplankton (copepods). Heather and crew were able to charter a local fishing vessel for a day to get copepods to run the assays.  Work is still preliminary with another season planned in 2006 but Heather is definitely finding fatty acids in the faeces which could be material that right whales are unable to digest or their digestion system might not be as efficient as energetics models have assumed.  Heather has recruited one of our research assistants from 2005, Zach Swaim to continue this work in 2006 for his masters project. Some funding came from a Royal Caribbean International donation and donations to our Whale Conservation Fund.

Involving Communities in Stewardship

In 2005, Laurie Murison obtained funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Endangered Species to teach local community members about right whales and why they are so vulnerable.  This included digital slide shows and ten trips for hands-on viewing of right whales (when possible) aboard the Whales-n-Sails Adventures vessel “Elsie Menota”. In addition, information was sent to Grand Manan fishermen through the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association and Laurie travelled to Plum Point, NL, to speak to the Northern Peninsula 9th Annual Heritage Conference about right whales.  The trips took place in the fall with the last trip on October 19 and included sightings of right whales!  In fact only one trip did not see right whales but about 20 humpback and finback whales were sighted instead.  The groups included Grade 9-12 students, a group of Grade 6-8 students who were studying whales as an elective, parents and teachers from Grand Manan, the St. Andrew’s scout troop, the first year outdoor recreation class from the Community College in St. Andrews, the White Head Elementary School students, teachers and parents, a school group from Castine, ME, who were working on a project about the right whale Calvin, the calf of Delilah (Delilah died in the Bay of Fundy in 1992 leaving Calvin as an orphan), and finally some visitors to the island.  Although the weather (fog) and sea conditions were a challenge, for the most part everyone enjoyed themselves and learned about right whales and the other large whales in the Bay. We plan to continue these trips on an annual basis in memory of the late Ivan Green, with funding coming from our Whale Conservation Fund and right whale adoptions. 

We were also successful in obtaining funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Endangered Species and Mountain Equipment Co-op in 2005 to have whale watch companies record their sightings electronically on hand held devices linked to Global Positioning System units.  Roxanne Bower began this study in 2004 with funding from the Canadian Whale Institute. The units allowed information to be collected systematically with little effort by the whale watch companies, saved the time and effort of transcribing hand-written records, and prevented transcription errors. This can also provide valuable information about where right whales (and other whales) are seen in the Bay of Fundy when researchers are not doing surveys (before and after seasons and when conditions are unfavourable for the small research vessels). Tentatively, we have funding for 2006 for the project and will expand to the Gaspé in Quebec.

Right Whale Skeleton Arrives

The skeleton of a right whale (#2150) killed in 2003 when hit by a ship has joined a finback whale skeleton in a fenced compound on Grand Manan, where any remaining tissue will be naturally composted above ground. This compound is a joint venture of the New Brunswick Museum/GMWSRS to prepare skeletons for long term preservation.  The skeleton was partially cleaned and left in Nova Scotia (where it was taken when the whale was found dead) until it could be arranged to be moved to Grand Manan.  In the interim, the jaws and some ribs were used in a study to determine their breaking strength to help in the assessment of the cause of death when right whales are found with broken bones.  Ironically this whale was suspected to have been killed just outside the shipping lanes into Saint John, the same year the lanes were altered to protect right whales.  The lower jaws of a dead finback whale carried into Saint John on the bow of a cruise ship in 2004 are also in the compound.

Song of the Whale

In August 2005, the new IFAW research vessel “Song of the Whale” visited Grand Manan.  They were promoting their non-invasive work studying whales in many parts of the world and also promoting their support of our Harbour Porpoise Release Program and Large Whale Disentanglement.  The boat was open to visitors for 4 days as well as invited groups from the island.  Response was good.  Saturday night there was an open house at the Research Station highlighting both the HPRP and Whale Disentanglement and included a tour of the “Song of the Whale”.  Sunday included a dinner onboard the vessel with the winner of a children’s art contest (Rachel Jones and her family).  On Monday night some of our researchers were treated to a sunset cruise complete with harbour porpoises, harbour seals and a finback whale.  The tour continued in St. Andrews and Campobello Island, and then the crew spent a few days surveying for right whales in the Bay before heading to Cape Cod.

What has been happening in the Bay of Fundy?

The number of humpback whales has been increasing, back to more “normal” numbers.  Pilot whales, lone orcas and white beaked dolphins have also been seen in the Bay in the last two years.  A large pod of sei whales were seen briefly as well in 2005.

In 2005, the Bay became eerily clear, with a lack of phytoplankton.  Whales could clearly be seen coming to the surface. Their zooplankton food was still abundant at depth but what this means for 2006 is always a guess.

In 2005, the overall number of right whales was higher in the Bay of Fundy than in 2004 for the entire summer with right whales remaining into November. Fewer right whales were found off the Roseway Basin which may have resulted in more whales in Fundy.  This appeared to be food related, with lower copepod (zooplankton)  biomass on the Scotian Shelf than Fundy.  There were 28 calves born with one disappearing and presumed dead—the 2nd highest number of calves born in one season since 1980 .  Many calves were brought into the Bay including Calvin and her new calf.  You may remember that Calvin was the calf born to Delilah who died in 1992 from a collision with a ship.  Calvin was orphaned at 8 months of age and was not expected to survive but did.  She was also entangled for almost a year in fishing rope in 2000-2001 until she was successfully disentangled.  She delighted everyone when she was seen with first calf.  Calvin can be adopted through our new program. 

Unfortunately, another new mother “Lucky” did not survive her pregnancy. She was struck by ship propellers when she was a calf but managed to survive.  Complications during her pregnancy brought on by these deep scars caused a deadly infection.  We have lost too many right whales and too many pregnant females in the last few years and hope this trend does not continue. In 2006 there are at least 19 new calves of which probably 10 will come to the Bay this summer with their mothers.

In 2005 we were prepared to assist with large whale disentanglements throughout the season.  On September 5, 2005, we worked with the Campobello Whale Rescue to remove gillnet fishing gear from a juvenile humpback whale. Although not successful,  the whale was later seen by whale watchers without entangling gear. A dead finback whale was found in August, 2005, off the New Brunswick coast and presumably is the same whale that washed ashore well up into the Bay of Fundy and remained there all winter.  In mid-October, 2005 part of a humpback whale carcass washed ashore on Grand Manan. In both cases cause of death was not determined.

Right whales continued to become entangled with eight new entanglements recorded for 2005, including one seen off Georgia in early December 2005 that was apparently carrying gear from a Grand Manan lobster fisherman.  Only one whale was successfully disentangled, three of five previously entangled whales seen during this period had shed the entangling gear without assistance, including Piper who was entangled for several years (first seen entangled in 2002) and is now a mother, having her first calf in January 2006, one previously entangled whale may still be entangled but it is difficult to tell because the line may be embedded in tissue, and one seen entangled in September 2004 was later found dead.

Entanglements are always reasons for concern, particularly because of secondary infection.  It has recently been suggested that only 20% of the right whales dying from various causes are ever recorded.  We tentatively have funding for 2006 to develop a voluntary Code of Conduct for Fishermen to help them decide what actions they should or shouldn’t take around whales to prevent entanglements.


Capturing Shearwaters

Rob Ronconi received funding in 2005 from the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust to begin a pilot project studying the diet of greater and sooty shearwaters.  These are trans-equatorial migrant seabirds that spend their lives at sea except when nesting, which they do in the southern hemisphere.  Although common seabirds they are seldom seen close to shore.

Rob and his team (usually Andrew, Zach, and Sarah) successfully designed a hand thrown hoop net to capture the shearwaters at sea.  Forty-six greater shearwaters and  3 sooty shearwaters were caught from a tidally upwelled area north of Grand Manan (Long Eddy Rip).  The purpose of capturing the birds was to collect small blood samples and a few feathers from which the diet of the birds could be determined—on the short term (1-7 days) and longer term (up to three months) by analyzing for fatty acids and stable isotopes—compounds that are found in what the birds eat and are then incorporated into their own tissues.  Rob was also able to band a number of these birds. Dr. Tony Diamond, Univ. of New Brunswick, visited the project to help with handling techniques and determining the moulting stage of the birds. Rob would like to expand the project in 2006 and include satellite tracking if funding is available. 

Sheep Island Tern Project

In 2005,  58 pairs of common terns nested on Sheep Island, with approximately 100 eggs laid in each year,  however, there were poor conditions for terns, including foggy, damp weather during critical periods, lack of appropriately sized prey for the chicks and predation by a northern harrier, herring gulls and possibly night herons.  As a result no tern chicks successfully fledged.  We had another excellent volunteer tern monitors during this time,  William Irwin. Funding came from private and corporate donations. Access to the island was generously provided by Russell Ingalls and his vessel “Island Bound”.

Brian Dalzell has recently moved from Grand Manan and will only have limited input with the project in 2005.  We are negotiating with the Bowdoin Scientific Station (Kent Island) who now own Sheep Island, to take over the project.  They will not have anyone on the island full time but Kent Island is just next “door” and they will be able to visit the colony regularly.  It is hoped that the terns will have a better year.


VISITORS: We have had approximately the same number of visitors (7922, 7893) during June through the first part of October of 2004 and 2005.  Our sales per person in the gift shop continues to climb which is excellent and makes it possible to pay some salaries and maintain the facility without looking for outside assistance.  As they say, location is everything and being across from the ferry parking lot is a bonus. We have also had excellent staff with Carla Murphy being the full-time student attendant (partially funded by a grant from Human Resources Canada), plus our volunteers Sue Stymest, and Ken Ingersoll filling in when Laurie was busy with other duties. It is always a challenge as people move or can no longer volunteer to keep the museum and gift shop open during June, Sept. and Oct. without continually recruiting new people.

DISPLAYS: A baby humpback whale skull found in Nova Scotia was donated to us in 2005 and has found a spot in our museum.  Roxanne Bower has developed new right whale posters to replace the temporary ones we have been using and there will also be new posters about current research in 2006.  We also have received donations of items for sale from some of our “Friends” such as hand-knit children’s sweaters and matted photographs.  


We would like to congratulate Andrew Westgate on his successful defence of his Ph.D. thesis on common dolphins.  Westgate A.J. 2005. Population structure and life history of short-beak common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the North Atlantic. Dr. Andrew is currently doing a Post-doctorate at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, splitting his time between there and Wilmington, NC where Heather  Koopman,  Arran and Skye live.

Dr. Heather Koopman, U. North Carolina, Wilmington
Andrew Westgate, Duke University/Mote Marine Lab
Dr. Aleksija Neimanis, U. Saskatchewan
Laurie Murison
Rob Ronconi, University of Victoria
Sarah Wong, Univ. of Calgary & Dalhousie
Roxanne Bower, Trent University
Visiting Scientists
Dave Gillett, Trent University
Elliot Hazen, Duke University
Johan Lindsjö, Univ. of Saskatchewan
Lesley Thorne, Duke University
Song of the Whale/IFAW Team:
Richard McLanaghan     Anna Moscrop
Doug Gillespie              Manus Danbolt
Caire Lacey                  Ollie Boisseau
Bridget Jones               Kim Elmslie
Barb Cartwright            Jan Hannah
Pat Zaat                      Kerry Bruron
Crystal Childs              Stewart Cook
Chris Nickless             Aron Hellar
Erla                            Bjorkvin
Right Whale Research Team:
Dr. Doug Nowachek, U. Florida, Tallahassee
Dr. Susan Parks, Cornell University
Ari Friedlander, Duke University
Alex Shorter     
Alessandro Bocconcelli
Alex Loer   
Kira Barton
Caroline Goode, Duke University
Dr. Dave Johnston, Hawaii
Research Assistants
Ken Ingersoll, Grand Manan
Margaret Leighton, Mount Allison University
Hillary Lane, Emory University
Zach Swaim, U. North Carolina, Wilmington

Tern Project

Brian Dalzell
Russell Ingalls
William Irwin
Museum & Gift Shop Students
Carla Murphy

Family and Friends
Dr. Sue Budge
Anne & Arnold Koopman
John, Ieva  Aelita Neimanis
Scott Sherin
Courtney Wallace MacMullin
Damian Lidgaard
Ted & Anna Leighton
Dr. John & Cora Westgate
Chris Ryder
Matthew Lambert   
Josh McGeown
Pat Miller   
Sue Stymest   
Canines: Skye, Arran & Taj

If you wish to continue or are not already a Friend please fill in the form. If you know someone who would like to be added to our list, please pass this information along. 

Shirley Alcoe, Fredericton, NB  
David Barbara, Rahway, NJ
Tom & Paula Bartlett, Tiffin, OH
James Bates, Grand Manan, NB
Gerhard & Rosemary Buchner, Windsor, ON
Mary Lou Campbell, Grand Manan, NB
Carol Carter, Arnprior, ON
David Christie, Harvey, Albert Co., NB
Ann Chudleigh, Chelsea, QC
Lena & Eldon Clelland, Kincardine, ON
Barry Coombs, Toronto, ON
Raymond & Mary Cousins, Aurora, ON
Patricia Cove, Hagensborg, BC
Marie Crawford, Etobicoke, ON
James Cruickshank, Needham, MA
Anne Innis Dagg, Waterloo, ON
L.A. Daggett, Grand Manan, NB
Francois Daigneault, Verdun, QC
Brenda Dale, Sherwood Park, AB
Halton Dalzell, Fredericton, NB
Virginia & Stephen Damon, Tamworth, NH
Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust, Charlottetown, PE
Terry Davidson, Markham, ON
Ron Davies, Amherstburg, ON
Keith & Jennifer Davis, Nepean, ON
Alma Jean Day, Brights Grove, ON
Rich Deakin, Brampton, ON
Tracey Dean, Bayside, NB
Buck & Natasha Deane, Carbondale, CO
Henrik & Joanne Deichmann, Summerville, Kings Co., NB
Arlene Deitch, Sacramento, CA

Ernest Donaldson, Belwood, ON
Baruch Brian & Andrea Fischhoff, Pittsburgh, PA
James N. Gardiner, Scarborough, ON
Maureen Gaskin, Guelph, ON
Gwen & Don Grant, Waterloo, ON
Jane Gray, Toronto, ON
Joan Green, Fredericton, NB
Anne Green, Toronto, ON
Bill & Pam Gudgeon, Burlington, ON
Frances Hodge, Westmount, QC
Dave Holland, Kanata, ON
Judith Horner, Stratford, ON
Linda Hutchings, Calgary, AB
Russell Ingalls, Grand Manan, NB
Matthew Ingersoll, Grand Manan, NB 05
Douglas  Jackson, Fredericton, NB
Charles Jefferson, Ottawa, ON
Anne Jeffrey, Columbus, OH
Paul Jones, Ottawa, ON
Anne & Arnold Koopman, Campbellville, ON
Hayden Leaman, Fredericton, NB

Roger LeBlanc, Moncton, NB
Andrea Lebowitz, North Vancouver, BC
Stephanie Lehman, Bracebridge, ON
Eleanor Linberg, Schenectady, NY
Jean Loggie, Moncton, NB
Mary Majka, Harvey, NB
Daniel Taillon, Marie Cousineau, Saint Lazare, QC
Joan Marshall, Hudson, QC
Mary Mason, Toronto, ON
Gordon Maxfield, Holliston, ME
James & J McKay, Lincoln, CA
Connie McKinlay, Windsor, ON
Nancy Mersereau, Baie d'Urfe, QC
M.T. Neal, Richmond Hill, ON
Mary Neal, Richmond Hill, ON
Dr. Ieva Neimanis, Hamilton, ON
Sandra Ogilvie, Halifax, NS
Julaine Palmer, George Neil, Fredericton,  NB
Richard Peckham, Bedford, NS
JAnn Posen, Toronto, ON
Dr. Yolande Prenoveau, Pierrefonds, QC
Jan Purvis, London, ON
Robert Righter, Denver, CO
Gwenda Robinson, London, ON
Bill & Sandy Rogers, Gaithersburg, MD
Ruth Rogers, Fredericton, NB
Margery Schuler, Auburn, ME
Marcia Schultz, Saint Paul, MN
Dr. David Sergeant, Hudson, QC
Kathy Sessamen, Saint John, NB
John & Denise Sgrazzutti, Amherstburg, ON
Heather Silliker, Colpitts Settlement, NB
Basil Small, Grand Manan, NB
Jane & Andrew Smart, Toronto, ON
Marcia Stephen, Orillia, ON
Lloyd Strickland, Ottawa, ON
Jane Tarn, Fredericton,  NB
Michael  Turner, Scarborough, ON
Rohan van Twest, Guelph, ON
Gail Walker, Alma, NB
Harry Walker, Miramichi, NB
Doreen Wallace, Fredericton, NB
Madelyn & Arthur Weingarden, Amherstburg, ON
Roy & Kathy Wheeler, Nepean, ON
Louise White, Halifax, NS
Don & Alma White, Moncton, NB
Brian Wiese, Shanty Bay, ON
Allan John Wilkins, Grimsby, ON
Franz & Nina Zangger, Windsor, ON
Diane Zierold, Lubec, ME
Rosemarie Zucker, Toronto, ON

David Day
Walter Deitch
Antje Hanemaayer
Maria Lynas
Rob Walker
Nina Davies

Ivan Green. 1932-2006

A founding Director of the GMWSRS has died.  Ivan Green had battled illness for several years, dying at age 73.  After a career as a ship’s engineer in the western Arctic and British Columbia, Ivan returned to Grand Manan in 1970 to fish.  In 1981 he, the late Dr. David Gaskin and Jim Leslie started the first dedicated right whale watching operation on Grand Manan, Ocean Search and also founded the GMWSRS. Ivan ably used his fishing vessel the “Pat & Robbie” to find right whales and other whales until 1987 when James Bates and his “Schooner D’Sonoqua” took over the ship duties. 

Ivan was a quiet man who helped many Grand Manan youth and chose not to be publicly recognized for his efforts. Before his death however, he established the Ivan Green Memorial Scholarship Fund (administered by the Fundy Community Foundation) for Grand Manan students entering trade school.  He was also very supportive of the work of the GMWSRS and to ensure that the GMWSRS would continue to have use of his house in North Head, donated it and the property to the GMWSRS before his death.  A commemorative plaque will be installed this summer to acknowledge this gracious gift and we will establish the Ivan Green Annual Right Whale Trip for Grand Manan school students.


Summer Students

Human Resources Development Canada
Harbour Porpoise Release Program (HPRP) Support
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Whale & Dolphin ConservationSociety
Canadian Whale Institute
Down to Earth Conservation & Education
Right Whale

Government of Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk
New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund Your Environmental Trust Fund at Work

Shearwater Research
New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund
  • Atlantic Mariculture (WCF) 
  • Connors Brothers (HPRP)
  • Eastern Wind Power (FBO)
  • Fairmont Algonquin Hotel (WCF)
  • Grand Manan SeaLand Adventures (WCF) 
  • Hole-in-the-Wall Park (WCF)
  • Huntsman Marine Science Centre (HPRP)
  • Maine Coast Sea Vegetables (FBO)
  • Royal Caribbean International “Jewel of the Sea”
  • Tall Ship Cory Whale Adventures (HPRP)
  • Whales-n-Sails Adventures (WCF)
  • Wyland Foundation (WCF)
FBO = Fundy Bird Observatory
HPRP = Harbour Porpoise Release Program
WCF = Whale Conservation Fund


We would like to thank everyone who has donated time and effort to our work and projects including the Weir Operators, whale watch companies (Whales-n-Sails Adventures, Sea Watch Tours, Fundy Tide Runners, Petite Passage Whale Watch, Norwood Boat Tours, Freeport Whale & Seabird Tours), Eastern Charlotte Waterways, Dr. Tony Diamond, Campobello Whale Rescue, and Kent Smedbol and Sean Smith (DFO). 
Russell Ingalls has also been invaluable with hisboat support for the Sheep Island Tern restoration project.



  • Westgate A.J. 2005. Population structure and life history of short-beak common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the North Atlantic. Duke University PhD. dissertation.

Scientific Papers, Book Chapters:

  • Johnston D.W., Westgate A.J., Read A.J., 2005 Effects of fine-scale oceanographic features on the distribution and movements of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 295: 279-293.
  • Tornero, V., Borrell A., Pubill, E., Koopman, H.N., Read, A.J., 2005. Reijnders, P.J.H. and Aguilar, A. Post-mortem stability of blubber retinoids in by-caught harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena): implications for biomarker design studies. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 7: 147-152.
  • Koopman, H. N., Budge, S. M., Ketten, D. R., and Iverson, S. J. In press. The topographical distribution of lipids inside the mandibular fat bodies of odontocetes: Remarkable complexity and consistency. Journal of Oceanographic Engineering Special Issue on Effects of Sound in the Marine Environment.
  • Smith, R.J., Cox, T.M., Westgate, A.J. In press. Movements of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina mellonae) in Lacs des Loups Marins, Quebec. Marine Mammal Science.
  • Westgate, A.J. and Read, A.J. Submitted. Life history of common dolphins in the western North Atlantic Marine Biology.

Learned Societies Presentations

  • Koopman, H. N., Westgate, A. J., Kraus, S. D., and Rolland, R. M. 2005 Preliminary investigations of lipid metabolism in right whales: using fecal samples to assess assimilation of copepod triacylglycerols and wax esters. North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium Annual Meeting, New Bedford, MA., November 2-3
  • Koopman, H. N. 2005 It's all in your head: The evolution of specialized lipids in odontocetes. Sixteenth Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, San Diego, CA. Society for Marine Mammalogy. December 12-16.
  • Murison, L. 2005.  Calvin and other right whales in the Bay of Fundy.  Are we doing enough?  New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB, June 5.
  • Murison, L. 2005.  Community involvement in protecting right whales in the Bay of Fundy. Grand Manan Museum weekly evening series,  Grand Manan, NB, August 25.
  • Murison, L. 2005.  Right whales in the Bay of Fundy.  Northern Peninsula Heritage Society 9th Annual Meeting, Plum Point, NL, 23-25 September.
  • Murison, L. and R.M. Bower. 2005. Collection of Systematic North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) Data by Whale Watchers in the Lower Bay of Fundy, Canada. The 16th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. San Diego, California, December 12-16.
  • Swaim, Zachary T.; Zahorodny, Zoey P.; Koopman, Heather, N. 2005 Do you hear what I hear: are odontocete mandibular fat bodies bilaterally symmetrical? Sixteenth Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, San Diego, CA. Society for Marine Mammalogy, December 12-16.
  • Zahorodny, Zoey P., Koopman, Heather N., Dillaman, Richard M., Gay, D. Mark. 2005 Histological examination of the mandibular fat bodies in the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis). Sixteenth Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, San Diego, CA. Society for Marine Mammalogy, December 12-16.
  • The Harbour Porpoise Release Program (entering 15th year) and continued testing of new mammal seine. 
  • Continued porpoise health assessment and Brucellosis exposure; studies to reduce stress in porpoises during handling.
  • 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.
  • Continued involvement in conservation issues including Right Whale Recovery, oil spill preparedness, etc.
  • Right Whale education project involving 1. for the second year, use of electronic recorders on whale watch vessels, 2. developing a website for adopting right whales and bringing the conservatin issues of right whales to the public, and 3. working in conjunction with fishermen to develop a code of conduct for fishermen when they are working near large whales
  • Right Whale Lipid Faecal Analysis
  • Nutritional Quality of Herring for Higher Predators
  • Passing of Sheep Island Tern restoration project to Bowdoin College
  • Shearwater feeding study to be used as an indicator of important feeding areas, including satellite tracking individual birds
  • Open as usual our marine natural history museum and gift shop - June through early October. 
  • Welcoming visiting scientists working on Grand Manan.
Adopt Right Whales —  We happily enclose a copy of our new program designed to provide information to those interested in helping right whales and raise funds at the same time.  Donations can be made at three levels, individual whales ($40), mothers and calves ($75) and families ($100).  You will receive a certificate suitable for framing, information about right whales, and an update about your whale(s) travels. Funding for development of this program has been from private donations, the Fairmont Algonquin Hotel, and Royal Caribbean International.  Proceeds will help us continue our research and conservation work.
  • We appreciate your support and look forward to a continued friendship. Please fill out the donation form
    and help us continue our programs.


(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

© 2004 Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station Inc.

This page designed by revised October 12, 2006