Field ID guide

Individual humpback whales are identified by the pigmentation and shape of their ventral flukes (tail) as well as the shape of the dorsal fin. CCS has studied humpback whales using photo-identification and other research techniques since the 1970s. Learn more about our Gulf of Maine Humpback Whale Catalog and scientific research here.

A fluke photo-ID guide is available to the Gulf of Maine whale watching community. This guide contains only a subset of the whales that we have cataloged and is being shared online for educational use only.

GOM humpback ID guide_CCS2012

Download the latest version here

We thank the following for sharing information with us: Allied Whale, Bar Harbor Whale Watch, Blue Ocean Society, Boston Harbor Cruises, Boston’s Best Cruises, Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, Captain John Boats, Capt Bill and Sons, Cape Ann Whale Watch, Dolphin Fleet, Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station, New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, Quoddy Link Marine, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Whale Center of New England and others.