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Photo-identification catalogs from northern Norway, mainly Lofoten, but also Barents Sea and northern fjords: Killer Whales

were photographed and cataloged since 2003. We collected pictures from people and photographers as well and identified over 700 individual killer whales (orcinus orca) in northern Norway and the coast of Møre since 2010. Some pods were re-sighted in many consecutive years, especially during herring feeding inside the Vestfjord and Tysfjord (2003-2008). We also collected pictures from summer observations and salmon feeding areas in Lofoten (2010-2013).

Long-finned pilot whale

Photo-ID: since 2006, we could identify more than 400 individuals in at least 12 different groups. Groups visit the Vestfjord every year and we have many re-sightings!

These two Photo-ID catalogs serve as baseline for our research to investigate occurrence, biology and social behavior, which includes group formation, social interactions and communication. Once we can identify the group and individuals, we can create a vocal repertoire catalogs of all the different pods.

Atlantic white sided dolphin

Photo-ID: since 2008 we could identify 55 individuals and 29 re-sightings!

Atlantic white beaked dolphins

Photo-ID: in preparation..

Harbor porpoise

Photo-ID: since 2006 we could identify more than 40 individual and several re-sightings of locally abundant individuals.

Minke whale

Photo-ID: very shy animals and less than 10 individuals could be identified since 2006, no re-sighting probably due to the intensive whaling inside Vestfjorden...

Humpback whale

Photo-ID: more than 13 individuals could be identified, 2 of them were re-sighted in the north during winter time.

Fin whale

Photo-ID: in preparation...more than 20 so far....

Sperm whale

Photo-ID: in preparation....

It is essential that we can constantly update our catalogs with new sightings therefore we ask you to share your pictures and observations with us for our research project!

Pictures that are close and focused can be used to identify animals, best taken from the left side, but right sides or any other body parts and especially the eye patches can also give us an indication to identify the individual whale.

Please contact us:

People working on this project:

Heike Vester, whale researcher since 2003, OceanSounds
Madita Zetzsche biology student, Orca Photo-ID, OceanSounds
Nicola Rehn, whale researcher and biologist at Ocean Sounds
Ellyne Hamran,whale researcher and biologist at Ocean Sounds

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