Photo used to ID Humpback Whales


Compared to the posting on October 1st this is the perfect photo to be used to identify a humpback whale. The underside of the fluke (tail) which shows the colour pattern, serrated edges and barnacles on the corners are unique to each whale. “Each individual humpback is given a unique alphanumeric identifier. Each identifier starts with BC to indicate that the animal was seen in British Columbian waters. Following the BC is an X, Y or Z, corresponding to the amount of white on the flukes and a number to identify the individual. BCX## contain approximately 0-20% white, BCY## have approximately 20-80% white and BCZ## have approximately 80-100% white. The catalogue is generally arranged in order of increasing white pigmentation. BCX flukes are further arranged into groups of similar appearance, and thus may not be in order of increasing white pigmentation.” Quote from the “Photographic Catalogue of Humpback Whales in British Columbia”.