Frequently Asked Questions
Currently Match My Whale is focused on whale identification research off the shores of Australia. We are working on expanding to locations around the world. Our first planned expansion is the Hawaiian breeding grounds of the North Pacific humpback whale population.
In the meantime, we accept photo donations taken worldwide; however, these photographs will simply be stored and not added to the catalog.
Only registered users
“SPLASH scoring” is assigning a numerical score assessing the overall quality of a photo. If a photograph is too blurry or only half the fluke is visible, for example, we use this step to screen it out of the catalog.
“Classifying” photographs is sorting photos according to the pattern of black or white pigmentation on a whale's fluke. This is done to help narrow the photographs used for comparison when matching. Instead of comparing your match photo to all the other photographs in the catalog, you compare it against only those with a similar pigmentation pattern.
“Matching” is a process of comparing fluke photos to see if the same whale has been photographed at a different time and location.
Photo identification is a non-invasive form of research, meaning the animals are not put at any risk of infection from being tagged, or subjected to any undue stress. It is also much more cost-effective, as tags are very expensive equipment and are often lost as they fall off the whales.