With a large number of humpback whales and killer whales present close to the coast of Northern Norway for an extended period of the year, the public interest to see and experience the whales has been, and is, huge. Many local companies offer whale watching trips and the whales can be viewed from land in several areas. Many people, both visitors and locals, naturally bring cameras with them to take photos of the whales as a memory of their trips.
Did you know that your photos can provide important information about the whales and help us to understand the ecology and movements of the whales? Photos of the tail-flukes of individual humpback whales are unique and can be used as fingerprints to track their movements. Through accumulation over time of new images of known individuals, or images of new individuals, it is possible to create sighting histories that tell a story of where and when the whales spend their time.
Since the establishment of the North Norwegian Humpback Whale Catalogue (NNHWC) in 2010, our network of citizen scientists, who contribute with their photos, has grown to more than 150 different persons or organizations comprising of whale watching companies, fishermen, school-classes, other researchers, kayakers, wildlife guides, tourists, weekend-hikers as well as some of the region’s most respected wildlife photographers.
By submitting your fluke photos to our ID-database ("Register a new sighting") you can become a member of our network of citizen scientists yourself and contribute directly to our research.
In our work, we in the HVALID-team have had the pleasure to meet people of all ages and professions who, like us, share a deep interest and concern about the marine life of the oceans. All have contributed in a very profound way and we are very proud to have so many dedicated people on our team!
Together, through HVALID, we hope to to be able to raise the awareness and interest for marine research in the region. By publishing our photo ID-catalogue online we wish tomake our work more accessible to the public and the participants and to inform about what kind of research on large whales that is conducted in the region and how it is communicated and used both on a regional and international level.
Welcome to the team and to our network of citizen scientists!