<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Contribute Sightings

Southeastern Alaska whale 1413. Photo by Rick Fleischman.

Breaching humpback whale with visable tail flukes. Photo by Ken Wies.

Flukes of southeastern Alaska whale 1377. Photo by Matt Goff.

Flukes of a humpback whale taken in Sitka Sound. Photo by Don Kluting.

If you have good photographs of humpback whale flukes, we would like to see them! We are always grateful for opportunistic photographs because it adds to each whale’s story and sometimes turns up photos of whales that haven’t been seen for a number of years.

When photographing whales, there are existing regulations to consider.  In Alaska, the National Marine Fisheries Service does not allow approaches closer than 100 yards to minimize disturbance to feeding whales. Click HERE to learn more about marine mammal viewing regulations. With digital camera technology that exists today, a well positioned photographer can take photographs from beyond 100 yards. A useful photograph is taken when the flukes are perpendicular to the water and show the distinct coloration.

If you would like to try to match the whale you photographed follow the link to the Fluke ID Catalog on this website. Click HERE to learn how to match whale flukes. If you match your whale, please include the ID of the whale when you contact us.

You can send your photos to us by email (preferred) or by U.S. Mail.

Please include the following along with your photos:
Date photos were taken
Time of the encounter
Location of the sighting
Number of whales in the group

If you send the ID number, or if we find a match, you will get a return letter or email with life history information about the whale, including the previous years and locations where the whale was sighted, if the whale is a known female and whether it has been seen with a calf.

If you send your photos by U.S. Mail please include your name and mailing address along with the information listed above.

Photos may be sent to:



Jan Straley
University of Alaska Southeast
1332 Seward Ave.
Sitka, AK 99835


Humpback whale fluking near a vessel in Sitka Sound