Lunchtime Conservation Series

 As one of the key focuses of SMM2017 is conservation of marine mammals, we will be featuring a lunchtime series focusing on three conservation stories that exemplify the seriousness of threats faced by marine mammal populations and the efforts, sometimes extreme, needed to ensure their survival.


Souls of the Vermilion Sea: A Portrait of the Plight of the Vaquita

(Tuesday, October 24 - 12:40-13:20 / Scotiabank Centre)

Presented by: Wild Lens, Inc, with Q&A by Jay Barlow

Synopsis: Souls of the Vermilion Sea is an award-winning half hour film from nonprofit conservation media company Wild Lens, Inc. Filmmakers Matthew Podolsky and Sean Bogle have spent nearly three years working to understand the complex web of environmental, economic and political challenges that have pushed the vaquita to the edge of extinction. Their short film introduces us to the scientists leading the fight to save the vaquita, as well as local fisherman, government representatives, and even an anonymous illegal fisherman, all of whom shed light on the numerous variables contributing to a conservation crisis. President Jay Barlow will answer questions following the film as the filmmakers are in San Felipe, documenting the vaquita rescue efforts currently underway.


Life on the Edge: Status and Conservation Concerns for the North Atlantic Right Whale

(Wednesday, October 25 - 12:40-13:20 / Scotiabank Centre)

Presented by: Mark Baumgartner, Scott Kraus, Amy Knowlton, Peter Corkeron and Tonya Wimmer

Synopsis: Since the cessation of whaling, North Atlantic right whales have struggled to recover. 2017 was a tragic year for this critically endangered species with at least 15 individual whales found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off Eastern Canada and the northeastern US. The primary cause of death for many of the animals was determined to be blunt trauma or entanglement in fishing gear, the two leading causes of death for species. Join a panel of experts as they provide information on the events of 2017 and discuss the conservation implications, including the collaborative path needed to save this species from extinction.


Bouncing Back from the Brink: The Inspiring Story of the Monk Seal

(Thursday, October 26 - 12:40-13:20 / Scotiabank Centre)

Presented by: Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Stella Adamantopoulou, Panagiotis Dendrinos, Eleni Tounta (MOm/Hellenic Society for the Study & Protection of the Monk Seal) & Charles Littnan (NOAA Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program)

Synopsis: Two monk seal species, separated by thousands of miles and millions of years, sat precariously on the edge of extinction until efforts were made to save them. This session will present basic information on the biology and conservation priorities of the Mediterranean and Hawaiian monk seal and reflect on the conservation successes for the species from two different perspectives: a grass roots campaign driven primarily by NGO’s working on Mediterranean monk seals and government lead effort for Hawaiian monk seals. Learn about the various threats faced by the species and the creative solutions required to overcome continued declines.

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