The inspiration for this VIRTUAL WHALE WATCH (aside from the whales, of course) came from my parents who spent many years in Maui photographing humpbacks, selling the photos to benefit whale research.
In the process, they came to know and love Mark and Debbie Ferrari of the CENTER FOR WHALE STUDIES. These hardy research scientists, operating on a shoestring budget, are responsible for some of the major discoveries about cetaceans, especially regarding the North Pacific Humpback Whale.
100% of donations go to support the Center´s non-profit work.
The Center for Whale Studies is:
Center for Whale Studies
- A nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.
- Dedicated for over 35 years to the protection of endangered species, especially the humpback whale and other marine mammals.
- Holder of a National Marine Fisheries Service permit to study these whales.
- An organization whose researchers led the effort to rescue Humphrey, the humpback whale stranded in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento River delta in 1985.
PO Box 1539
Lahaina, Maui, HI 96767
In 2003 Mark Ferrari was speared by a Broadbill Swordfish while filming a pod of false killer whales (Pseudorca). This serious injury was frightfully close to his major organs and blood vessels. Thankfully, he healed well and has been able to continue research.
COME TO WHALE TALES
Mark has been a featured speaker at WHALE QUEST & WHALE TALES in Maui. Find out current research at the WHALE TALES event in Maui in February.
CENTER FOR WHALE STUDIES
(Visit the Center for Whale Studies website)
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the magnificent humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) roamed the seas in great abundance - more than 100,000 in all the oceans; 15,000 in the waters of the North Pacific, alone. But with the onslaught of modern harpoon whaling, their numbers drastically declined.
Center for Whale Studies researchers, Debbie and Mark Ferrari, travel to Hawaii to conduct an annual study begun in 1975. Their work documents the behavior of humpbacks as mothers rest and rear their young, while males battle and challenge each other for position in a complex social hierarchy.
Using only benign observational techniques, they take photographs, video, and skin samples in the process of identifying humpbacks. By tracking known mothers with newborn calves over successive years, they have found that humpback whales are capable of producing their young at a high, one-year reproductive rate. Still the number of humpback whales has not significantly increased, despite the fact they have been protected from commercial whaling since 1966. The humpbacks are indeed an endangered species.