|Differently shaped dorsal and mottling pattern on right dorsal flank help us identify this individual|
|This damaged dorsal fin is an easy one to remember!|
Photo-identification techniques allow researchers to identify individuals using either naturally occurring pigmentation patterns, scarring or morphological differences. Photographs are taken of the right dorsal flank, left dorsal flank and tail fluke and then compared within and between years and between populations to define feeding stocks and determine migration patters of large whales. In the long-term these photographs also enable us to estimate population sizes.
If you or anyone you know has visited Sri Lanka to see the magnificent blue whales and would like to contribute photographs - please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are keen to send in your images - don't forget to send your full name so you can be credited for your efforts within the photo catalogue. In the next few months, once we have the catalogue happily housed in MICSPIX (a kind contribution from the Mingan Island Cetacean Study), we intend to name the whales - watch this space for details on how to participate!