Whale Photo Identification

One of the easiest and least invasive ways to study whales is through whale photo identification. A good photo of a whale as it surfaces can help determine the whales species, relative size and even identify the individual whale! Through photo identification whale researchers can track migrations, keep track of individual animals as they age and determine the size of whale populations. The staff of Oceanic Eco Tours are enthusiastic photographers who take photos on our tours. We will share these photos with our guests, and look to our photography efforts to support whale research and conservation.

Follow this link to read our tips for whale watchers enthusiastic to try whale photography.

What identifying photos are useful to whale research? -That depends on the species of whale.

Some examples of whale photo identification:

  • Humpback whales can each be identified with a photo of the underside of their tail fin. One of our favorite Humpback whale photo identification projects is HappyWhale. An excellent project with a user friendly interface for citizen scientists to upload Humpback whale photos and participate in Humpback whale studies.
  • Blue whales can be identified with photos of their two dorsal regions. A photo of the mottled pattern along the back of a Blue whale can be used to identify individuals. We are working to be able to provide Blue whale photos for conservation and research.
  • Individual Fin whales can be identified with photos of their dorsal fins. So a good photo of the dorsal fin can be a great help to researchers who are tracking Fin whale populations.

OET endeavors to share our whale identification photos to support cetacean conservation.

We hope you enjoy this information about whale photo identification. The staff at Oceanic Eco Tours is looking forward to welcoming you on board for our small group whale watching eco-adventures departing from Mission Bay, San Diego, California. If you have a few friends who share your enjoyment of photography, consider one of our Private Tours, so we can cater a tour to your interests. Join us and help us collect whale photos in the support of whale research and conservation.