Maui News

New ‘Finders Free’ program launches Feb. 20 in honor of World Whale Day

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PC: PacWhale Eco-Adventures.

PacWhale Eco-Adventures, the for-profit social enterprise wholly owned by and benefiting nonprofit ocean advocacy organization Pacific Whale Foundation, announced the launch of its Finders Free initiative.

The new program begins on Feb. 20 in celebration of World Whale Day — a global recognition of cetacean conservation spearheaded in Hawaiʻi by late PWF founder Greg Kaufman.

The Finders Free program encourages ecotour passengers to exchange high-resolution whale fluke photos for a complimentary future excursion. PWF researchers collect images of whale flukes, the underside of a humpback whale’s tail, to document resights of previously identified and cataloged whales — an applied research methodology known as Marked Resights.  

To participate in this innovative offering, simply submit images of humpback whale flukes captured this year aboard a PacWhale Eco-Adventures ecotour. Follow the instructions and guidelines found here and complete the form. If the image matches an individual already logged into PWF’s extensive Humpback Whale Photo-ID catalog, participants will receive a complimentary PacWhale ecotour within four to six weeks of receipt of submission

Available through the close of 2022’s whale-watching season in mid-April, PacWhale’s Finders Free program underscores PWF’s ongoing campaign to engage the public in research and conservation efforts through community science — a vital collaboration between research professionals and the public that provides additional support in executing scientific projects and collecting information for current and future studies.

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The goal of PWF’s community science is to invite educational opportunities while supplementing systematic research studies with low-cost alternatives for monitoring whales, dolphins and marine debris. Initiatives such as community science build awareness of key marine conservation issues while inspiring positive change.

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