SIMRS has responded to numerous marine mammal incidences in the past 25 years from pinniped entanglements to large cetacean necropsies.
The British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network (BCMMRN) is a collaborative program between government agencies, research, conservation and outreach groups, wildlife rescue organizations and BC citizens. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is the governing agency of this organization. The BCMMRN aims to promote conservation and protection of marine mammals and sea turtles in BC waters.
SIMRS is an advisory member of the BCMMRN. Our goal is to assist where needed with large whale disentanglements, necropsies, and monitoring of injured or distressed marine mammals and turtles. By working with partnering agencies we are aiming to reduce harmful incidents involving marine animals and provide essential information on the subject.
Please report all marine mammals found dead or in distress.
Call the toll-free reporting hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 800 465 4336
We also encourage you to report inappropriate or illegal human activity, contamination and disturbances to marine environments.
Threats to Marine Mammals
Marine mammals play an essential role in the marine environment; as top predators they help create a balance in the food web and the ocean's ecosystems. Unfortunately, marine mammals, including large whales and sea lions, are susceptible to many natural and human-caused pressures in the ocean. In fact, over half of the cetaceans and sea turtles in BC waters are listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern.
To see which aquatic species are SARA-listed, visit http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/index-eng.htm.
Both SARA listed species and other marine mammals are subjected to a number of threats that effect their welfare and health including entanglements in fishing gear; depletion of prey; accoustic disturbances; strandings; small population sizes; collisions with vessels; climate change; hunting; pollution; habitat degradation and illnesses.