It’s in 2022 - in the midst of post-tropical storm Fiona - that the Brion Sharks expedition finally set sail, after years of planning and... Covid.
EcoMaris teams up with the St. Lawrence Shark Observatory (ORS) to launch innovative research expeditions on the great white sharks off Brion Island.
Equipped with aerial drones and hydrophones for acoustic sensing, the crew of Brion Sharks pursues many objectives. It wants to:
Brion Sharks will allow EcoMaris to solidify its scientific mission and improve our understanding of St. Lawrence ecosystems.
With its lighthouse, Brion Island is located 16 km from the Magdalen Islands. Thanks to its remote location, Brion remains unspoiled - and little-known to most Candians.
Dominated by steep and vertiginous cliffs to the north and west, the island hides a forest and deserted beaches. It was first explored by Jacques Cartier in 1534, before becoming a haven for cod fishermen from Brittany and the Basque country in the 19th century.
Though we’re still trying to understand the role of global warming in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, white sharks have been coming here for a long time, as evidenced by millennia-old teeth found in nearby burial grounds.
The Gulf offers abundant food to young sharks that venture north in search of easy hunting grounds like Brion Island - home to some 10,000 grey seals. Around Brion, sharks practice their hunting skills, leaving seal carcasses on the island’s pristine beaches.
All the evidence suggests that Brion Island is home to young, growing sharks that are switching from a piscivorous diet to hunting. The signs are clear: usually curious, seals now stay close to Brion's shores to protect themselves from a mysterious predator… And our cameras have already captured a shark attack on seals.
In short, Brion Sharks is just beginning to unravel the many mysteries surrounding great white sharks that inhabit Quebec waters…