Why We Need Your Help

By matching humpback whale photos taken at different times and/or locations, we can chart the life cycle of the whales and monitor their populations around the world. For the first time, you can be a part of this important global undertaking.

Join us by becoming a citizen scientist and participating in our research activities.

Want to know more? Watch our video

Too Much Data

Too much data

When many people think of whale research, they imagine being at sea. But the really important part of research takes place in the laboratory. Each new whale fluke photo gets checked against the 6,000 or more existing fluke photos that we have accumulated from our three decades of research. It is a time-consuming process and it quickly becomes backlogged with our small staff.


The Human Advantage

Fluke Matching screenshot

Software that searches for matches does exist; however, these programs are not perfect.  Nothing matches the accuracy of the human eye for examining each whale photo and finding matches.  We have found that individuals do better than computers in finding correct matches.

Many Minds are Better


Crowdsourcing brings together the skills of many people from around the world. The more people who match each whale photo, the less chance for mistakes such as missing a match, or making an incorrect match. Participate in Match My Whale and you will accelerate the speed at which we find matches and learn more about humpback whales.