An initiative of the research community, the Australasian Right Whale Photo-Identification Catalogue (ARWPIC) is an online platform developed to share images and sightings of southern right whales.
Southern right whales were heavily impacted by whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries; world-wide most populations are now recovering but all populations have yet to fully recover.
Individual southern right whales can be recognised by the white patterns (callosities) on their heads so the survivial, movement and productivity of individuals can be tracked over time.
Data submitted to ARWPIC provide valuable information about the abundance, status, movements, productivity and longevity of this endangered species so can inform conservation management and assess the current status of southern right whale populations.
The general public can browse this catalogue, look for whales in particular place or time, or try to match their own photographs of right whales to one in the catalogue. Researchers and regular contributors can submit data and identify matches within the catalogue, as well as export data for further analysis (see About ARWPIC).
Members of the public are encouraged to contribute photographs and sighting information about southern right whales or any other marine mammal via http://data.marinemammals.gov.au/report/sighting