Learn More About M.E.R.S.
When you buy a t-shirt from All Things Coastal's "Whale of a Tale" collection, you help support the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) which is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to promoting conservation and the understanding of marine ecosystems through scientific research, environmental education and marine wildlife response. They are based on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and were incorporated in 2010.
Education is key to this organization's strategy to reduce risks to marine species. Their work includes the "See a Blow? Go Slow!" campaign to reduce the risk of collision between whales and boaters and "How to Save a Whale" which educates about whale entanglement. MERS also conducts workshops for marine naturalists and provides public presentations to increase engagement and positive action for marine life.
One of MERS' primary goals is to directly reduce threats to marine wildlife by responding to reports of entanglement, vessel strikes and other human-caused incidents. Call the Incident Reporting Line at 1-800-465-4336 to report entanglement or disturbance of a marine mammal in British Columbia.
The MERS team is comprised of marine biologists and educators highly dedicated to marine conservation. While based on Canada's west coast, team members have worked in many countries and oceans. They are a small organization doing big work!
Highlights of work achieved by MERS in 2017 include the following:
2,250+ data entries for sightings of Humpbacks
170 hours spent monitoring whales during commercial fisheries in case there is an entanglement and in order to better understand the risk
80 additional “See a Blow? Go Slow!” signs for strategic positioning on British Columbia’s coast (70 of these were made possible through sponsorship)
24 presentations on our research and reducing risks to whales, reaching more than 1,530 people from coastal BC
In partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, expanding our entanglement scarring study to a coast-wide effort
Production of the “How to Save a Whale” resource to help people understand what to do in case of finding an entangled whale which has reached over 35,000 viewers and is being shared internationally
Managing “Who You Gonna Call” – a series of four short videos to increase awareness about risks to marine mammals.
Submitting our research on trap-feeding for publication
Collaborating to update the British Columbia province-wide Humpback catalogue
Engagement with media leading to over 35 articles and radio interviews aimed at reducing risks to whales
Training more than 45 people at our Marine Naturalist Workshop to enhance the caliber of conservation information provided on our coast.
As you can see from the long list above, the Marine Education and Research Society needs all the support they can get to make future years just as outstanding and All Things Coastal is proud to help them by providing a percentage of our whale t-shirt sales.