Monterey Bay Whale Watch - Research

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--- Monterey Bay Cetacean Project ---

Blue Whale ID photo Our marine biologists collect valuable data on the marine mammals sighted during our whale watch trips. This data collection contributes to our understanding of the behavior, ecology, distribution, and relative abundance of each species. In addition, select species of whales and dolphins are photo-identified by distinct natural markings, which provides researchers with information on movements, residency patterns, population estimates, association patterns, and life history parameters. Photo-identification work is focused on Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, Killer Whales, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, and Risso's Dolphins.

Humpback Whale ID photo
Photo-identifications of Humpback Whales and Blue Whales are contributed to Cascadia Research Collective, a non-profit research group based in Olympia, WA. Cascadia holds the catalogs for the California populations of Humpback Whales and Blue Whales. Through this photo-identification work, they have estimated the populations of these whales for California. Both of these whale species are endangered and this research is critical to determine population trends and indications of possible recovery.

Killer Whale ID photo We hold the Killer Whale catalog for California and continue to photo-identify all Killer Whales we see in Monterey Bay as well as document their predatory behavior and social structure.

We also have compiled catalogs of individually distinct Pacific White-Sided Dolphins and Risso's Dolphins, and we continue to photo-identify each species.

The information collected on these trips is combined with our Oceanic Society research project on whales and dolphins in Monterey Bay.


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Monterey Bay Whale Watch, LLC
84 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone 831-375-4658  

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Photographs by Nancy Black.