Every year, MARS staff and volunteers respond to incidents involving dead and distressed marine animals throughout the Maritime provinces. While we collaborate with a number of organizations, it is through the dedication and hard work of volunteers across the Maritime provinces the we continue to be successful.

Incidents can be sporadic and unpredictable in nature, and we often need volunteers to visit sites, confirm a report of a dead or distressed marine animal, and to collect data including photos, measurements and possibly even samples. If MARS responders are on scene to direct rescue efforts, there may be additional opportunities to help.


Updated June 3, 2021

We want to ensure that we provide all our active volunteers with information regarding how MARS will be responding to marine animal incidents during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, response by MARS is limited to Nova Scotia due to border passage restrictions in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. For incidents in those provinces, MARS works with Maritime Marine Animal Response Network (MMARN) partners to safely respond. The use of MARS volunteers will be limited during the pandemic. Your possible involvement at this time only includes: (1) conducting an initial site visit to confirm if an animal is present; (2) obtaining basic information and samples from dead animals; and (3) only where possible to follow all COVID-19 restrictions of physical distancing and proper PPE, assist MARS staff onsite with dead and live large whale incidents and mass strandings.

Please click HERE to review information regarding how volunteers will be able to assist us with incidents going forward. MARS will continue to monitor all information regarding COVID-19 restrictions and adjust our protocols accordingly.

All response activities will only be conducted where safe to do so, as per usual MARS response procedures and our updated COVID-19 response measures during the pandemic.

Thank you for your understanding; we look forward to working with you safely going forward!

MARS is committed to providing its volunteers with opportunities to safely engage in, and benefit from, participating in a number of different response activities. 

We need volunteers to visit sites, to confirm a report of a dead or distressed marine animal and to collect data (i.e. photos, measurements and possibly samples). If MARS responders are on scene to direct rescue efforts, there may be additional opportunities to help response efforts; however, incidents are unpredictable and we cannot guarantee when or where they will happen.

Thus, some volunteers may get called often, while others not as much.

Sound good to you? Click the button below to fill out our volunteer form.


Becoming a MARS volunteer DOES NOT authorize any individuals to respond to live marine animals or collect samples and data from dead animals without prior authorization from a MARS response coordinator.