The MFRI Humpback whale ISMN Catalog online version is up to date

Image from the ISMN catalogue Image from the ISMN catalogue


The MFRI Humpback whale ISMN Catalog online version is up to date, you can, now, find 1434 unique Humpback whale individuals gathered over a span of 40 years (from 1980 to date).



ISMN Catalogue:
These individuals are organized in 7 categories according to the proportion of black on their fluke (which is the body part used to identify humpback whale. It is located underneath the tail and featuring a unique pattern for each individual) in order to make your experience easier while looking for a special individual. Those pictures were collected through various ways including:

  • Academic researches lead by the MFRI in Icelandic waters (photo identification, biopsies and tagging surveys).
  • National (University of Iceland based in Reykjavik and its Husavik Research center) and International collaboration.
  • Private and voluntary contribution from Whale Watching Companies and Fishermen and of course, the individual/tourist contribution through our online platform

Most of our identified individuals will be shared with our partner: The college of Atlantic: Allied whale (Bar Harbor, Maine USA) and included in the North Atlantic catalogue (the origin of this NA catalogue goes back to the YOHNA project in the 90ies ( Year Of the Humpback whale in the North Atlantic)).
This collaboration will increase our chances to learn more about the migration route and pattern of these whale over the whole north Atlantic, by comparing whale ID between the breeding ground and the feeding ground (or within the feeding ground).

With this great set of data, we and our collaborator now will look into what is happening with in the Icelandic water and try to understand better the behavior and pattern of the humpback whale life in Icelandic waters.

If you want to contribute to the MRFI humpback whale catalogue (as well as to all the other - up coming - marine mammals photoID project) you can submit. You can read more about the collaboration condition and work we are working with, and submit your pictures and infos on our submission platform or contact

Note: Orcas pictures are welcome and will be shared (upon agreement) with Doctor Filipa Samara at the Research center of Vestmaneyjar.

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