Monday, 17 June 2024 09:51 PM EDT
fin whale

The call of the big blue

Julien Marchal was born in Clamart (Haut-de-Seine/France) in 1976 and is also a Canadian citizen. It is his passion for the sea in Corsica (France) and marine mammals and his commitment to the protection of the seabed that led him to photography.

At the beginning, it is in Strasbourg (France) then in Montpellier (France), that he prepares his future encounters with his protégés. In 1995, he discovered his first whale (fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and the blue and white dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) in the "Pelagos" marine sanctuary in the Mediterranean Sea.




blue whale6


British Columbia West



French West Indies



Canada North East

From 1997 to 2008

His travels in Canada have allowed him to meet orcas (Orcinus orca) (1997), pairs of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) (2000) or fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) (2000) and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) (2006). In Guadeloupe (French West Indies), he worked in an aquarium and treated marine turtles (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas) (1998). At Azores it is a newborn sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) that he had the privilege to discover (1999)....

His photographic work is done mainly outside the water. Otherwise it is the result of swimming with eight sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) in Mauritius (2000), the pilot whales (Globicephala melas) in the Mediterranean (2000), its first blacktip shark (Carcharinus melanopterus) and a giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) to Bahamas (2001) or the humpback whale (Megaptera Novenglae) in French Polynesia (2008 à 2010).

In addition to his photographic activity, Julien Marchal is a member of worldwide cetacean associations, a naturalist guide to cetaceans, and an activist against the captivity of dolphins (Parc Astérix (France) in 1997) and orcas. As such, he gives conferences and publishes articles in order to "sensitize the public" and "future generations".


years of training


with NGOs


sea trips with large and small boats

From 2008 to today

He spent time in French Polynesia (2008 to 2010) as a naturalist guide for a group of dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sedentary on the attol of Rangiroa (Tuamotu archipelago).

In the winter of 2010, he was a translator for a humpback whales (Megaptera Novenglae) in the Dominican Republic (Samaná).

In Bergeronnes (Quebec, Canada) in 2008, then from 2010 to 2016 he was boat captainHe is a guide and photographer for marine mammals on the St. Lawrence River in a marine park.

Later he worked for a foundation Students on Ice (Quebec, Canada) - during the "Canada C3" expedition as a deckhand and in charge of the zodiacs on a former icebreaker (2017). He recounts his adventure in the book "Commemorative Canada C3".

From 2018 to 2021, he was a deckhand for the Canadian Coast Guard (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and a deckhand on watch for an oceanographic vessel in Quebec (Canada) that carries out various missions, the last of which was on the right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (2020).

In summer, he continues to introduce marine mammals at Essipit Cruises (Quebec, Canada), a company founded by an Aboriginal community.

During the autumn and winter, he remains available for contracts in France/DOM-TOM and Canada as captain, cetacean guide, or marine mammal observer (MMO) and passive acoustic monitoring operator (PAM). 

He lives with his family on the north shore of Montreal (Quebec, Canada).

Author's galleries

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