From: College of the Atlantic
Published November 30, 2007 10:28 AM

Give a whale for the holidays

Give a whale for the holidays. Can’t fit a whale into your living room? A fin or humpback whale will happily dive through the waters of the Gulf of Maine and into the heart of your loved one through the Adopt-A-Whale program created by College of the Atlantic’s Allied Whale.

Maybe it will be named Triton. Maybe George or Gemini. What’s most important is that you and your loved one will know that by assisting researchers in their efforts to understand the lives of these captivating animals, you have helped to protect one of the largest mammals ever to inhabit the earth.

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Adopt-A-Whale helps to supports the research work conducted by Allied Whale throughout the Atlantic Ocean, from Canada to the Antarctic, to research and protect marine mammals. Allied Whale is College of the Atlantic’s marine mammal research laboratory. Located on the coast of Maine, College of the Atlantic  is a small college of some 300 students fostering interdisciplinary, hands-on approaches to complex environmental and social problems.

Despite the enormous size of humpback and fin whales (fin whales can reach lengths of more than 80 feet), we still have a lot to learn about their biology. One of Allied Whale’s major projects is to identify individual whales by collecting photographs of humpback whale tails and the dorsal fins and body markings of fin whales. These markings can be as distinctive as human fingerprints. By recognizing individual whales, researchers have gained insight into their abundance, migrations and life histories.

Pollution, ocean dumping, shipping, destructive fishing and coastal development threaten the very creatures that narrowly escaped decimation by 20th century whaling fleets. Long-term research efforts such as those conducted by Allied Whale will help to protect these populations for future generations.

Adoptions cost $35 for a single whale, $50 for a mother and calf pair and $20 for an adoption renewal. For this, your loved one will receive an 8-by-10-inch color photograph of your whale, a brief history of your whale and a record of its sightings, the book Discovering Whales of the East Coast by COA graduate Stephen Mullane, a personal certificate of adoption and a subscription to our annual newsletter.

For more information, call 207-288-5644 or visit www.coa.edu/html/adoptawhale.htm.

 

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