Photo Donations

Share your photos of dolphin dorsal fins and humpback whale flukes with researchers who study them. Photo-identification of whales and dolphins has been part of our long-term research at Pacific Whale Foundation, and you can help! By donating your photos, you will help us monitor the life history traits, population trends, and habitat-use patterns of whales and dolphins around the world.


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. Download our Camera Settings Guide, for quick and easy tips to adjust your camera settings on the water and capture your best photos.

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 us your photos

Email your photos to [email protected] with “Photo Donation” in the subject line and include:

1) the DATE the photo was taken


2) the GPS LOCATION or a general description of the sighting location.


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.

English Photo Donation Poster and Spanish Photo Donation Poster

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!

Hawaii Visitor Update

Aloha, We Are Open!  Our PacWhale Eco-Adventures are open for booking as we welcome visitors back to Maui.  Quarantine restrictions were lifted on Oct. 15th for those following the state’s pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements.