2012 01 03- Another match to a whale I photographed in 2008 in Newfoundland Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

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I took the photo above left at Witless Bay, Newfoundland on 27th August, 2008. Roger Etcheberry in St Pierre et Miquelon, in France, matched the photo taken above right taken by Debbie Young on July 11th, 2011 also in Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. This is an example of citizen science at work. Roger Etcheberry in St P et M has both Debbie Young's catalogue of hundreds of humpback whale fluke IDs taken mostly in Witless Bay, Newfoundland as well as my own catalogue of fluke IDs and he recently matched these two fluke IDs. This match also reveals the site fidelity the humpbacks maintain to their feeding areas.


Here is Deb's covering email to me with the above photo attached.

"First off I am not a Marine biologist. Just a true whale geek. My husband and I started whale watching in 1980 in the San Ignatio lagoon in Mexico with the gray whales, and we were hooked. We've been to both coasts of North America whale watching as well as Iceland ( which was a true treat). We had heard that Newfoundland was the place to see humpbacks, my favorite. So in 1999 we went to Trinity Bay, went out with Peter Beamish, but the numbers of whales was disappointing. Someone we met there said to go to Bay Bulls, so we did. It was fantastic. So we started going back every summer. We fell in love with the land and the wonderful people, as well as the whales. We bought a house there in 2003 and now I spend June-October up there. Our good friend Wayne Maloney has his own whale watching boat, so I get out on the water when ever he goes out.

"Yes I take all the photos and match them as well.(a daunting task to do alone) I send everything to Allied Whale, which I have done since the beginning. Once I met Roger, he has been matching mine with everyone else. Thank you Roger! I do this because I love the whales and the challenge,and no one else was recording all these awesome whales. I have one of the largest catalogues in Newfoundland and would be honored to share my photos and matches with you."

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