Portneuf-sur-Mer, Québec. Canada

About Us

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Our Mission

  • Mériscope is an independant marine research station and a registered environmental charity organization in Canada dedicated to protecting marine mammals and marine ecosystems through research, education, outreach and conservation efforts.
  • Founded in 2001 by the Swiss-Canadian marine biologist Dany Zbinden, Mériscope’s focus is on research and protection of whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Québec.
  • We are conducting research projects on marine mammals and biodiversity in cooperation with universities, other NGOs and federal authorities.
  • We are promoting education in marine and environmental sciences through a course program in marine biology and our MérisCool program.
  • We are actively involved in projects aiming to protect the marine ecosystem of the St. Lawrence Estuary.
  • We are a member of the Québec Marine Mammal Emergency Network, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Ecotoq, an expert group in ecotoxicology.
  • Mériscope is based on the north shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, about 300 km northeast of Québec City.

Our Track Record

  • 2018-2020: We have launched a marine science platform for high-school students and teachers called «MérisCool», accredited by the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences. Our minke whale catalogue holds more than 270 individuals and we have presented our research at the World Marine Mammal Conference 2019 in Barcelona. A major highlight, Mériscope has been awarded official recognition as an environmental charity organization by the Canadian Revenu Agency.

  • 2016-2017: We have collected 12 minke whale biopsies in the framework of our contaminant study so far, which are being analysed as part of a PhD project at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). Plus, we have launched the development of a sound monitoring buoy, the “MériScout 1”.

  • 2011-2015: Mériscope joins the Regional University Corporation and our director serves as board member of the corporation. In 2011, we have established a minke whale catalogue for the St. Lawrence Estuary. In 2015, we have launched a research project on bioaccumulation and biological effects of emerging contaminants in minke whales and belugas of the St. Lawrence Estuary, in close cooperation with two universities, two federal authorities, and GREMM.

  • 2006-2010: We have facilitated two Master and two PhD projects in marine biology/ecology and more than 250 students from 10 countries have participated in our course program since 2001. Mériscope has acquired a new fully equipped zodiac to support our research projects as well as marine mammal rescue and disentanglement operations.

  • 2001-2005: We have developed a research and internship program in marine biology, in cooperation with several universities in Europe and North America. Our courses are open to students and the public at large. Mériscope has also committed to supporting the Québec Marine Mammal Emergency Network as institutional member.

Our Station

The station is situated right next to the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, known for its abundant wildlife.

The Mériscope is situated on the north shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, about 300 km northeast of Québec City, in the middle of gorgeous coastal scenery. Our base offers a fantastic view, overlooking 2000 square kilometers of prime marine mammal habitat.

Main Building and workshop
Guest house and terrace overlooking the sea