Catherine Kinsman

Catherine Kinsman is co-Founder of the Whale Stewardship Project. As Project Director and Solitary Sociable Beluga Whale Specialist, she co-initiated the world’s first long-term study of human-whale interactive behavior for this species.

She has designed, managed and conducted a range of on-site programs of protection, research and education on behalf of 10 sociable belugas across four distinct regions in Atlantic Canada, amassing thousands of hours of field observation and hundreds of hours of video data. She has documented an additional 20 stray sociable belugas from Quebec to New England and provided consultation for other NGOs and government agencies, as well as for First Nations concerning a solitary orca on Canada’s west coast.

Catherine’s work has been featured in local, national and international news media and documentaries, including the feature film Saving Luna/The Whale and The Nature of Things’ Call of the Baby Beluga.

She is the author of “Luminary”, a chapter in “Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond” and co-author of several research papers, including the first on solitary sociable beluga behavior. She has also generated many reports, the most recent for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, on a beluga in Nova Scotia, 2015.

Prior to launching the Whale Stewardship Project, she participated in a two-year project for Whale and Dolphin Conservation, studying high-risk behavior in humans and captive dolphins in petting/feeding programs. She also spent a year as a full-time volunteer at a Florida sea pen refuge, feeding and caring for six bottlenose dolphins and helping relocate two of them to a new sea pen during their rehabilitation phase prior to their release back to the wild.