Founded in 2007, the Maritime Marine Animal Response Network’s (MMARN), mission is to respond in a timely fashion to marine animals in distress, and dead marine animals in the Maritime Provinces in the interest of furthering marine animal conservation, welfare and science. Species responded to by network members include cetaceans, pinnipeds, sea turtles and, increasingly in recent years, sharks. To do this, the organizations (below), coordinate response efforts through the Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) and aim to assist where needed and gather data and samples from as many incidents as possible. At a minimum, data on the species, sex, size and signs of human interaction are collected though every effort is made to collect additional biological samples and/or conduct a full necropsy.
The key elements of the network structure are:
1) A management committee which works together to make decisions regarding the operation of the network, incident response protocols, educational materials etc.;
2) A toll-free response number (1-866-567-6277) to which incidents are reported; and
3) A network composed of member organizations which take responsibility for various elements of the network (particular incident types, specific geographic areas etc.).
The management committee is currently composed of one representative from each of the participating Maritime response organizations as well as representatives of DFO and provincial PEI representatives.
Several organizations provide specific education and training regarding response to live and distressed:
1) Cetaceans (Marine Animal Response Society, Grand Manan Whale and Seabird research Station and Campobello Whale Rescue Team )
2) Pinnipeds (Marine Animal Response Society)
3) Sea turtles (Canadian Sea Turtle Network)
• Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maritimes and Gulf Region
• Parks Canada
• PEI Provincial Environment, Forestry and Fisheries