Photo Donations

Share your photos of dolphin dorsal fins and humpback whale flukes with the research department. Photo-identification of cetaceans found in Hawaii, Australia and Ecuador has been part of our long-term research at Pacific Whale Foundation, and you can help!  By donating your photo, you will help us to monitor the life history traits, population trends, and habitat use patterns of whales and dolphins in our study locations.


Step 1. Take a lot of photos.

While on the water, keep an eye out for spouts, tail flukes, and dorsal fins. If you see a humpback whale, photograph the underside of the tail. If you see a dolphin, photograph the dorsal fin and sides of its body.

Step 2. Upload and review your photos.

Please review the photos from your trip and upload your best images that meet our photo quality criteria.


Step 3. Send your photos to Pacific Whale Foundation’s Research Department with “Photo Donation” in the subject line

Email your unedited photos (jpegs are preferred) to [email protected] with 2 important pieces of information:

A) the DATE the photo(s) was taken

If donating photos from multiple trips or days, please clearly indicate which photos are from which trip and day.


B) if on a PacWhale Eco-Adventures tour include: 1) the NAME of the vessel and 2) the scheduled departure TIME

if on a non-PacWhale Eco-Adventures tour include: 1) the TIME of the sighting and 2) either GPS LOCATION or general description of the sighting location

These two pieces of information are very valuable to help us better understand when and where our whale and dolphins are sighted.


You will receive a confirmation email from the Research Department to let you know that we received your donation.

If the donated photo passes our quality criteria, it will be cataloged and your name and contact information will be added to our database along with the photo as our way to thank you and acknowledge your contribution to our catalog.

Next Steps to Becoming More Involved

If you are interested in becoming more involved in our whale and dolphin research, we encourage you to join our ADOPT Program or Name Your Marine Animal!

Pacific Whale Foundation currently has dozens of named South and North Pacific humpback whales, dolphins and false killer whales available for adoption. In addition, you can also Name a Marine Animal – even one that you photographed and donated to the Research Department.

Click here to learn more about our unique animals and ADOPT or NAME one today. Proceeds from animal adoptions and naming support our Research, Education and Conservation programs and help to bring awareness to the marine species PWF actively studies.

You can also become an annual Member of Pacific Whale Foundation and join a global community of ocean advocates working together to create better outcomes for marine wildlife around the world. Click here to learn more about your impact as a member and how you can JOIN US or RENEW your commitment today. Members also receive benefits such as special gifts and discounts.

Thank you for supporting our research and helping us to gain a better understanding of the whales and dolphins in Hawaii, Australia, and Ecuador. You contribution helps us to understand and conserve marine life and we sincerely appreciate it!

 Download Photo Donation Poster


Our thoughts go out to all that are being impacted by COVID-19. With a team dedicated to our response to this pandemic, we are meeting regularly to ensure the continuation of programs and services that allow our mission work to continue.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s leadership team is closely monitoring updates from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19. We will continue to seek guidance from these agencies, public health officials and government agencies on an ongoing basis.

The role that our organization plays in keeping people connected for the sake of the environment is incredibly important in times like these. If we all take the proper precautions and continue to treat each other with kindness and care, we’ll get through this together.

How is PacWhale Eco-Adventures addressing COVID-19?

-Following guidance from Hawaii State and County officials, PacWhale is suspending Eco Tours and our Retail Store operations from March 20th – April 30th. 

- To support our employees, we are offering paid, temporary emergency sick leave, restricting all non-essential business travel, deep cleaning work areas, offering teleworking and flexible work schedules, and continuing to communicate updates and reinforce good hygiene practices.

How is Pacific Whale Foundation addressing COVID-19?

-Spring Break Ocean Camp has been cancelled.

-Keiki Whalewatches are being cancelled for the remainder of the season.

- Our marine research and conservation programs will continue to run without disruption.