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Welcome to Atlantic Whales, an on-line catalogue of whale sightings in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The purpose of this site is to collect scientifically useful information about this region's whales so this data is available to researchers and whale enthusiasts around the world. Whales are an important indicator of oceanic health. The health of their populations tells us alot about the health of our oceans and the health of our planet.

Other Whales

The waters off Newfoundland and Labrador are among the most productive portions of the Earth's ocean. During the spring and summer, some of the planet's largest gatherings of whales, seals and seabirds come to feed in these coastal and offshore waters along North America's eastern edge. For over 500 years some of the planet's most intensive human fisheries have also taken place here.  

People are not always good at sustainably managing the ocean's resources. Over the past few hundred years the Atlantic grey whale was wiped out while the right and bowhead whales have been removed from most of their former range. Other whales including fins, blues, orcas and humpbacks underwent dramatic population reductions at the hands and harpoons of 20th century whalers. In the case of the orcas, the military even used them for target practice.

Newfoundland and Labrador continues to be one of the planet's most important bread baskets. A multi-billion dollar fishing industry is pursued by the world's fishing nations. Swimming among these fishing fleets are the world's largest feeding group of humpback whales and huge numbers of a variety of other whale species. How many whales are there? Are their numbers going up or down? Where do the various species go? Are human activities influencing any or all whale species?

The Government of Canada does not have even one scientist dedicated to answering these questions in the North Atlantic. This is despite the fact that most whale researchers consider the populations off Newfoundland and Labrador to be among the planet's most abundant but least studied whale gatherings.

At Atlantic Whales we welcome the submission of properly documented whale photographs from around the Atlantic. The Newfoundland and Labrador-based tour company Wildland Tours has made the development of this research website a company priority. However every visitor to the Atlantic coast is encouraged to take scientifically useful whale photographs and to submit these photos to us. It is our intention to edit and post useful photos so they are freely available to researchers and whale enthusiasts from around the world.

Attention Whale Researchers and Students This is your site. Feel free to borrow these images or to contact us for higher resolution shots. We do require professional acknowledgement of this Atlantic Whales website and our contributing travelers, observers, scientists, and tour operators but we charge no fees. Our primary goal is to contribute to the knowledge of whale biology and distribution in the Atlantic especially the Northwest Atlantic. We welcome your support and your suggestions. It is you who will make this site work for the whales and our shared future.

Attention Whale Enthusiasts and Tour Boat Operators Please submit your best whale images here. We will make them available to researchers and scientists around the world. We will also ensure you receive acknowledgement and hopefully tour boat operators will receive some promotional value. All whale enthusiasts are encouraged to check out our advertisers and supporters in the links section and in the various whale sections. They make this website and the access to this information possible.

Whale Trapped in Your Fishing Gear? If you are in Newfoundland and Labrador and have a whale trapped in your fishing gear, contact the provincial Whale Release and Strandings Group at 1.888.895.3003. The group will send a team to rescue the fishing gear and also to help the trapped animal.


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