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Bluewater cruisers recruited for science project

Sailors for the Sea published “CARIB Tails: An International Citizen Science Project for Boaters.”

Nathalie Ward contributed this month’s Ocean Watch Essay and calls all boaters from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean seas to serve as citizen scientists in CARIB Tails – a photo-identification program that allows scientists to monitor the recovery of endangered humpback whales.

“Seeing a humpback whale while cruising the Caribbean is a memory that boaters never forget, and a photograph of its flukes help scientists protect these spectacular animals,” says Ward.

Citizen scientists contribute photographs of humpback whales that scientists use to identify and catalogue individual whales by comparing black and white pigmentation patterns and scars on the underside of humpback whale flukes.

Photo identification is critical to monitoring the recovery of humpback whales, and successful research efforts about population sizes and migration patterns by helping scientists track the lifetime travel of individual animals.

For information about how to participate in the CARIB Tails program visit

For more information on or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to support the organization, visit