It often seems to us biologists, an inglorious job the hours that we spend in front of our computer trying to compare photos, in our photo-identification work, whether with Sperm whale flukes, the pigmentation of a Blue whale or even the scars on the dorsal of a Risso’s dolphin.
We spend many hours trying to find another photo of the same animal, either in the waters of São Miguel Island or Pico Island, or even through the various partnerships we have with different research groups all over the North Atlantic. We first compare the photos in our database and often find the same animal for several days or weeks. This is what happened to a humpback whale that we saw on March 14, 2019, it was very active on this day, with some acrobatic behaviors such as lobtailing. The next day we went back to the sea and there it was again, showing one more time its fluke with a very characteristic cut on the left side.
We received a few days ago, the news that shows us that all this work, although slow, greatly increases our understanding of Humpback whale’s migration.
This whale was also seen by Anton on the 21st of June 2019 and this one, in a maximum of 3 months swam from the Azores to the north of Russia, being our first match between Azorean waters and Russia, after the matches with breeding sites like Cape Vert or Caribbean Sea, feeding grounds as Iceland, Newfoundland or Norway, now Russia joins our list.