Report a marine mammal or sea turtle incident or sighting

Emergency contacts

If you see abuse or harassment (fisheries violation), contact the following 24-hours/day toll-free numbers:

  • Crime Stoppers:  1-800-222-TIPS (8477)
  • Canadian Coast Guard:  1-800-565-1633

If you see an injured, stranded, entangled or dead animal, contact the following emails or 24-hours/day toll-free numbers. You can also help us track these aquatic animals to ensure their safety by reporting a sighting.

Region Contact Information
  • BC Marine Mammal Response Network (Observe, Record, Report):  1-800-465-4336
Central & Arctic
  • Northwest Territories - Inuvik:  1-867-777-7500
  • Northwest Territories - Yellowknife:  1-867-669-4900
  • Nunavut - Iqualuit:  1-867-979-8000
  • Saskatchewan:  1-800-667-7561
  • Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM):  1-877-722-5346
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Whale Release and Strandings Newfoundland and Labrador (Tangly Whales Inc.):  1-888-895-3003

Signs of whale distress

When whale watching, the animal is in distress if it:

  • leaves the area
  • dives frequently
  • stops its activities, including:
    • resting
    • feeding
    • nursing
    • socializing
    • communicating with each other (vocalizing)
  • begins or stops behaviours like:
    • breaching, where a whale leaps headfirst from the water
    • lobtailing, where a whale repeatedly slaps the surface of the water with its tail
    • flippering, where a whale slaps the surface with one or both of the fins directly behind its head
  • continually changes its swimming speed or direction

If you notice any of these signs, carefully move your boat away from the whale and call one of the 24 hour a day toll-free numbers below. When calling, be prepared to report:

  • Date, time, and location (lat./long.) of animal
  • Type of animal (species if possible)
  • Description of key body parts, including colour, any tags or unique markings
  • Estimated length of the animal
  • Description and location of injuries and/or gear (type, colour)
  • If the animal is alive, description of the behavior: Is it struggling to surface; free swimming or anchored; and which direction is the animal headed?
  • If the animal is dead, the body condition (decomposed, bloated, white)
  • If possible from a safe location, please provide photographs and video of the animal, especially close-ups of the tail, flukes, flippers, entangling gear and visible injuries

Do not touch or move an animal yourself because:

  • you may accidentally harm it
  • it may carry diseases that could transfer to you
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