Help us Name a Whale

In recent years, Elding's researchers have kept a catalogue of every whale spotted on our tours both in Faxaflói bay and in Eyjafjörður fjord. The catalogue contains hundreds of cetaceans, including humpbacks, minkes and dolphins. The number of humpback whales we have identified since 2007 is now close to 500 individuals! In the last year we have added many new whales to our catalogue, some of which have already been named, but we want to involve our passengers and run a naming contest for 3 humpback whales that still need a name!

HERE IS HOW WE DO IT: Minke whales are mainly identified by any distinctive features on their dorsal fin, whereas humpback whales are mainly identified by the patterns on their flukes. A certain pattern is formed when the white and black colour of the tail blends together and becomes a kind of "fingerprint" to that individual. The cuts and wounds on the fluke and body of the whale, as well as the shape of the fluke, are also used to identify the humpbacks. The pattern is often the inspiration for the nick name they are given.

Every individual first receives a code name which consists of (as an example) MN, which is the Latin name for humpback whales (Megaptera Novaeangliae) and a number which represents the year, month and day the whale was spotted (i.e. 4th February 2019 becomes 190204). Then, if this was the first unknown whale that was seen that day, it gets the number 00 added to the back. All of these letters and numbers then create the codeMN19020400.

We find it easier and more personal however to also give the whales nick names. Naming an object or an animal awakens our empathy, thus our willingness to take care of it - it is a powerful tool for conservation!

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Name a Whale Day 2021

(contest has been closed and names have been selected)

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Name a Whale Day 2020
(contest has been closed and names have been selected)

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Name a Whale Day 2019
(contest has been closed and names have been selected)

NAMES HAVE BEEN SELECTED!

Thank you to all who participated in our contest! These are the names our team selected:
 

NO. 1 LAUMA - meaning pixie in Latvian (suggested by Nauris Zdanovskis)
NO. 2 WOODY - after a child that passed away at 3 weeks old (suggested by Lauren Healy)
NO. 3 SKUGGI - meaning shadow in Icelandic (suggested by Tiina Turpeinen)

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