The Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Research Association awarded funding to Fundy Tidal, the Canadian Whale Institute, and Conserve.iO for a marine life observation program including public participation.
Free smart phone applications will be available to public (“citizen scientists”), whale tour operators, and other users (including trained dedicated observers) to participate in recording marine life observations for tidal energy and other scientific purposes. Observations will be uploaded to a common online database, and used to assess species composition, distribution, number and seasonality. The program will enhance efforts currently underway by local whale and seabird tour operators.
Dr. Moira Brown (CWI) and Greg Trowse (Fundy Tidal) will be offering free marine observer training in Freeport or Westport (TBD) on June 16th (full day, including lunch) and 17th (half day). The training isn’t mandatory to participate in the program, but data from those who attend or have a professional background in marine life observation will be most valued in the database. Anyone interested in participating in the volunteer program is encouraged to attend.
Fundy Tidal will also be hiring part-time marine observers for this summer. Anyone interested in employment is strongly encouraged to attend the training session.
Dr. Brown will hold the Whale Emergency Network session following the observer training on the afternoon of June 17th. This session will provide information for reporting entangled whales and whales in distress, and discuss stand-by support measures that can be taken while the response team is on route.
The program will be discussed at the Public Meetings regarding the Request for public input on potential locations for tidal turbines in Grand Passage to be held at the Westport Community Hall starting at 7:15 PM on Thursday, June 5th.