With the oceans changing due to temperature rises and acidification, we are unsure on the consequences this will have on many cetacean populations due to a lack of baseline data. Currently, a concerning number of cetacean species are classified as ‘data deficient’ by the IUCN. Admittedly, cetaceans can be difficult to study due to the vast distances and great depths they cover, and data often has to be collected for years and years over these large areas to be deemed useful. Despite this, partaking in active research can be extremely beneficial in making changes to this situation. Many of WCA’s whale watching partners collect data everyday as they take tours out on the ocean. Research is a major and extremely important aspect of becoming a Whale Heritage Site.
Research, Education and Awareness
Happywhale is a company that approaches cetacean research in a unique and smart way. It uses citizen science to collect data by encouraging people to submit their images of individual whales which are then identified by their unique markings (Photo ID). Participants benefit from being able to track their whale around the globe if the same individual is submitted again, and through a knowledge of knowing they are contributing to data collection and analysis.