About

OUR STORY

Whale Seeker is a Montreal-based startup that leverages AI to simplify marine mammal monitoring. Founded in 2018 by Emily Charry Tissier, Antoine Gagné-Turcotte and Bertrand Charry, Whale Seeker is bridging the divide between profitability and sustainability by making marine mammal detection fast, accurate, and accessible.

OUR MISSION

We aim to make marine mammal detection as fast, easy, accurate and affordable as possible.

OUR VISION

We know that technology has the power to help marine mammals and humans not only coexist, but thrive – so we're building the tools to make that possible.

MEET THE TEAM

Our growing team of biologists, ecologists, data scientists, software developers, and AI specialists all leverage AI to deliver better, simpler, and faster marine mammal detection data. Interested in joining? Check out our careers page.

PRODUCT VIDEO

Hear from our team on the crucial need for fast, accessible imagery analysis, and Whale Seeker's groundbreaking capabilities.

OUR COMMITMENT

We’re proud to be a certified B corporation.

B Corps are businesses that have achieved the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Unlike traditional companies, B Corps are legally required to consider their impact on all stakeholders, not just shareholders. These values and standards are especially meaningful assurances for our ethical AI goals.

As part of the B Corp family, we complete yearly impact assessments to quantify our positive impact in five key areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and clients. Whale Seeker scores big points on prioritizing the financial security of its employees, supporting businesses in its local community, and sharing its expertise in environmental best practices.

We use tools like the SDG Action Manager to help us identify further improvements we can make, and are committed to conducting business respectfully and responsibly. Whale Seeker is working hard to bridge the divide between sustainability and profitability.

SDGS

Here are the SDG goals we are targeting and what we are doing to reach them.

  • SDG 5. GENDER EQUALITY
  • SDG 8. DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
  • SDG 9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • SDG 10. REDUCED INEQUALITIES
  • SDG 11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
  • SDG 12. RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
  • SDG 13. CLIMATE ACTION
  • SDG 14. LIFE BELOW WATER
  • SDG 16. PEACE, JUSTICE, AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS
  • SDG 17. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

We create a safe working environment for all genders and make an extra effort in our recruitment to offer opportunities for women in STEM careers. We offer flexible working hours and locations to make sure that women and men have as much opportunity as possible to succeed in their careers while balancing the demands of family and personal lives.

Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

We are committed to sustainable growth economically, environmentally, and socially. It’s part of our value system and official mission, and we are legally bound to these ideals as a B Corp. We pay every employee a living wage and offer opportunities for further training, collaborations, and professional development.

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

We work with (and for) people and entities who are also striving to create inclusive and sustainable economies. A significant portion of our efforts are dedicated to innovation research and development targeted to better our natural world and create powerful environmentally responsible solutions.

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

To reduce income inequality we pay all employees a living wage and offer room for advancement. We participate in B Corp equality workshops and are always working to improve our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion policies to make sure they are aligned with our growing team and the changing world.

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

Whale Seeker’s main goal is to create tools to enable humans and marine mammals to coexist in beneficial ways. We believe the use of our solutions on small and large scales provide ways for human marine activities to grow more sustainably. We also create company initiatives to support our local community, such as our Neighbourhood Support Program in response to Covid’s impact on small companies close to our home and headquarters.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

In our work environment, we recycle everything we can and practice responsible consumption of everything from energy to food and transportation. The solutions Whale Seeker creates contributes to more eco-friendly supply chains for marine shipping, as well as coastal and marine development. Remote sensing tools for marine mammal monitoring are less or non-invasive, and also create a lower carbon footprint than traditional methods.

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

We have policies to promote biking and public transportation, recycling, and responsible resource use. In addition, our core offerings use remote sensing tools such as drone or satellite images for marine mammal monitoring that use fewer fossil fuels than traditional methods of airplane/motorboat travel and surveillance. As our climate continues to warm, natural disasters are also increasing in severity and frequency. Whale Seeker is working with private and public partners to create marine mammal mitigation solutions in the event of oil spills and natural disasters.

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

Detection and monitoring tools are essential for measuring the health of the ocean and understanding its changes. We create access to fast, reliable data on finer spatial and temporal scales, enabling decision-makers to enact policies and actions in a timely and more effective manner to preserve marine mammals. Our solutions protect oceanic biodiversity and healthy fisheries.

We are also committed to donating 1% of our revenue to nonprofits helping to protect the ocean.

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

We are dedicated to improving accountability, integrity, and transparency within our own businesses and the countries in which we operate. We are actively working with Canadian partners to build circular economies for sustainable development.

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

We have projects and partners in North America, Europe, and Australia, with more projects on the horizon! Our solutions address a global problem and offer a scalable solution available to all.

SDGS

Here are the SDG goals we are targeting and what we are doing to reach them.

  • SDG 5. GENDER EQUALITY

    Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

    We create a safe working environment for all genders and make an extra effort in our recruitment to offer opportunities for women in STEM careers. We offer flexible working hours and locations to make sure that women and men have as much opportunity as possible to succeed in their careers while balancing the demands of family and personal lives.

  • SDG 8. DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

    Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

    We are committed to sustainable growth economically, environmentally, and socially. It’s part of our value system and official mission, and we are legally bound to these ideals as a B Corp. We pay every employee a living wage and offer opportunities for further training, collaborations, and professional development.

  • SDG 9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

    We work with (and for) people and entities who are also striving to create inclusive and sustainable economies. A significant portion of our efforts are dedicated to innovation research and development targeted to better our natural world and create powerful environmentally responsible solutions.

  • SDG 10. REDUCED INEQUALITIES

    Reduce inequality within and among countries.

    To reduce income inequality we pay all employees a living wage and offer room for advancement. We participate in B Corp equality workshopsand are always working to improve our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion policies to make sure they are aligned with our growing team and the changing world.

  • SDG 11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

    Whale Seeker’s main goal is to create tools to enable humans and marine mammals to coexist in beneficial ways. We believe the use of our solutions on small and large scales provide ways for human marine activities to grow more sustainably. We also create company initiatives to support our local community, such as our Neighbourhood Support Program in response to Covid’s impact on small companies close to our home and headquarters.

  • SDG 12. RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

    In our work environment we recycle everything we can and practice responsible consumption of everything from energy to food and transportation. The solutions Whale Seeker creates contributes to more eco-friendly supply chains for marine shipping as well as coastal and marine development. Remote sensing tools for whale monitoring are less or non-invasive, and also create a lower carbon footprint than traditional methods.

  • SDG 13. CLIMATE ACTION

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

    We have policies to promote biking and public transportation, recycling, and responsible resource use. In addition, our core offerings use remote sensing tools such as drone or satellite images for whale monitoring that use fewer fossil fuels than traditional methods of airplane/motorboat travel and surveillance. As our climate continues to warm, natural disasters are also increasing in severity and frequency. Whale Seeker is working with private and public partners to create solutions for marine mammal mitigation solutions in the event of oil spills and natural disasters.

  • SDG 14. LIFE BELOW WATER

    Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

    Detection and monitoring tools are essential for measuring the health of the ocean and understanding its changes. We create access to fast, reliable data on finer spatial and temporal scales, enabling decision-makers to enact policies and actions in a timely and more effective manner to preserve marine mammals. Our solutions protect oceanic biodiversity and healthy fisheries.

    We are also committed to donating 1% of our revenue to nonprofits helping to protect the ocean.

  • SDG 16. PEACE, JUSTICE, AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

    Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

    We are dedicated to improving accountability, integrity, and transparency within our own businesses and the countries in which we operate. We are actively working with Canadian partners to build circular economies for sustainable development.

  • SDG 17. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

    We have projects and partners in North America, Europe, and Australia, with more projects on the horizon! Our solutions address a global problem and offer a scalable solution available to all.

OUR ETHICS

Technology We Use

Ensuring data confidentiality is of paramount importance to Whale Seeker. We prioritize the privacy and security of your data throughout our processes. When you entrust us with your data, we handle it with the utmost care and respect. We strictly adhere to robust data protection measures to safeguard your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.

At Whale Seeker, we have implemented strict protocols and employ industry-leading practices to maintain the confidentiality of your data. Our commitment extends to ensuring that your data remains exclusively yours. Once we have completed the necessary analysis or processing, your data is promptly returned to you, further reinforcing our dedication to data confidentiality.

Rest assured that by partnering with Whale Seeker, your data is handled with the highest level of confidentiality, respecting your privacy and maintaining the trust you place in us.
Read the Declaration
AI is a powerful tool that can be used for good, though it’s each company’s responsibility to ensure their AI be used ethically. We believe how AI is developed is as important as what AI is used for.
—  Emily Charry Tissier, CEO

FAQ

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What’s so great about an AI solution?

AI solutions are fast. In the case of marine mammal detection, this means saving experts’ time for bigger fish — it also means getting the scale of marine mammal monitoring to a place it's never been before. As new and cheaper data acquisition methods proliferate, fast, accurate data analysis is the tightest bottleneck in achieving truly impactful conservation and mitigation efforts.

AI solutions can learn. When the data changes, the algorithm can change to match it. For a problem as complicated as detecting marine mammals in noisy and variable oceanic environments, AI is the only automated tool that’s up to the task.

AI solutions make the most of the data available. Manual detection of marine mammals from aerial imagery has a ceiling not just for speed and cost-effectiveness, but also for accuracy.

At Whale Seeker, we see the potential of computer vision to break through that ceiling, allowing for higher-accuracy detection than human labellers can provide. AI solutions are consistent. No more inter-rater difference, no more post-lunch slumps: AI doesn’t get tired.

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Can you just hand me an AI solution and be on your way? Why do I have to pay regularly?

Using Whale Seeker means having access to a kick-ass algorithm, enabled in part by the size and diversity of the training data we have. By working with us, you’re teaming up to create a more accurate and flexible tool than either of us could have built on our own.

One-off, or “turnkey” solutions are more costly than you might think: while they may be cheaper at first, the costs of storing data and maintaining code add up.

Whale Seeker doesn’t stop at upkeep. We’ve always got our ears perked for exciting new developments in AI and computer vision, so our customers have access to algorithms that are always improving.

Whale Seeker stores your data in the cloud, on Canadian soil (or wherever you need your data to be housed to stay compliant with your regulations and preferences).

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Is my data safe when processed via AI?

Yes - after you send us your data we save it to our cloud, where it is only accessible under strict user access policies - only people that need to look at the data have access to it. We follow the Canadian Cyber Security Guidelines and regularly review our internal policies with regards to cybersecurity.

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I know AI’s not all fairy-tales and unicorns... come on, give me the dirt.

AI algorithms can be expensive to train. While getting an algorithm up and running is cheap, achieving the kind of accuracy that reaps the benefits described above takes server time, which is not cheap. By training the core detection algorithm once, then fine-tuning for specific detection contexts (location, weather, species), Whale Seeker can help you avoid carrying the hardware costs associated with machine learning.

Crap in, crap out: AI algorithms are only as good as the labelled data they’re trained with. We can’t argue with that one. That’s why Whale Seeker trains its algorithms using only data labelled by expert biologists, with thousands of hours of experience with visual marine mammal detection.

The sheer volume of data required to train AI is out of reach for many small players. Fragmented data is a major challenge for leveraging new advances in AI. That’s why Whale Seeker is pooling the data of consenting parties into a single, massive training dataset that covers a diversity of species, contexts, and acquisition strategies — all while keeping their data secure against third parties, and anonymized.

Data drift: if the algorithm is tied to the data, won’t it stop working when the data changes? The acquisition strategies for marine mammal detection are in constant flux — as are the oceans where they live. That’s why Whale Seeker is always re-training its algorithms, so that they’re fine-tuned to the data at hand — not the data they were trained for five years ago.

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Isn’t storing that much data expensive?

That’s why Whale Seeker uses cloud storage techniques that are cost-effective, secure, and easily accessible.

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Is my data safely stored?

Electronic data storage always carries risks, and those risks evolve over time. We stay on top of the latest precautions for data security and integrity, so you don’t have to. Your data will be encrypted while it’s stored in the cloud — as well as during downloads and uploads.

CONTACT US

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