MARS collaborates with expert organizations, regionally, nationally and internationally, to ensure human safety, enhance the welfare of animals and collect valuable data from which we can learn more about these species and the threats they face.


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.


CMARA was developed based on recommendations from the first Canadian Marine Animal Emergency Response Workshop held in 2013. At this workshop, it was agreed that there was a need to unite and support the networks, to share expertise and resources, to promote the networks and to address critical gaps in the on-going operation of the networks.

CMARA is chaired and coordinated by the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and is governed by the national steering committee (NSC) which guides the actions and administration of the Alliance. The NSC is responsible for representing the interests of the CMARA as well as each of their respective regional response networks.

The NSC consists of one or two representatives of each of the regional response networks (Newfoundland and Labrador, Maritime provinces, Quebec, and British Columbia), the chair and one non-voting representative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The NSC operates on a consensus-based decision making process.



The Marine Animal Response Society would not be able to operate without our many volunteers and the kind and generous support of the following organizations:

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