He helped save sea lions in Fanny Bay and a whale in Comox — Paul Cottrell of the DFO will give a presentation in Parksville on Oct. 24.

Learn more about sea mammals at a talk in Parksville

After the Oct. 24 presentation you can travel to Deep Bay for a gourmet meal

Anyone curious to learn more about Salish Sea marine mammals will enjoy a special presentation by Paul Cottrell as part of the Vancouver Island University (VIU) ElderCollege Saturday speaker series on Saturday, Oct. 24 in Parksville.

Cottrell, who works for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, will speak about “Marine Mammal Management: Actions to Minimize Impact.”

He will provide a vivid summary of more than 15 humpback whale and grey whale disentanglement efforts conducted by the B.C. Marine Mammal Response Network.

Cottrell will discuss hazards to marine mammals, programs to enable disentanglement, and interactions between human activities, industries and marine mammal life.

He was instrumental in rescuing sea lions near Fanny Bay and whales in the waters off Ucluelet. He was also involved after a whale washed up on the shores of Comox.

Cottrell made a significant contribution to the highly successful restoration of a large grey whale skeleton exhibit, which is now a major feature at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station in Bowser.

Cottrell has worked with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for more than 18 years as a marine mammal research biologist, fishery officer, and area chief of resource management. He was the Pacific marine mammal coordinator and now leads the large whale disentanglement program.

His presentation takes place at the Forum, main floor of the Parksville Civic & Technology Centre, 100 Jensen Ave., Parksville from 10 a.m. to noon.

Tickets ($10 each) will be available at the door and everyone is welcome.

Following the presentation, audience members are invited to a special luncheon at 1 p.m. with Cottrell at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station in Bowser. Catered by the gourmet VIU culinary program, the luncheon is $17 per person.

During lunch, Cottrell will facilitate a discussion and answer questions related to the restoration of the Underwater Harvester’s Grey Whale Exhibit, which hangs above the stairwell on the main floor of the Field Station.

To reserve seats at the luncheon, please contact Anne Toby at annelink@telus.net.

Lunch participants must arrange their own transportation to the Deep Bay Marine Field Station, located at 370 Crome Point Road in Bowser, about a half hour drive north of Parksville.

For more information about upcoming talks in the ElderCollege Saturday Speaker Series or for general information about ElderCollege courses, go to www2.viu.ca/eldercollege/courses.asp.

­ — NEWS Staff/VIU news release

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