For over two decades, Alaska Whale Foundation has been supporting impassioned scientists who promote understanding and conservation of marine mammals and their coastal habitats.

AWF’s broad study program ranges from interest-driven studies on the social structure and foraging ecology of Southeast Alaska’s whales, to increasingly timely research on marine mammal health and human-whale conflicts.  Drones, hydrophones, sonars, plankton nets, biochemical analyses, suction-cup cameras - all factor into AWF's research toolkit and provide unprecedented views into the lives of these incredible animals.

Cooperative bubble-net foraging has been a centerpiece of Alaska Whale Foundation's research program since its inception in 1996. 

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Alaska Whale Foundation is concerned about the health of humpback whales in Southeast Alaska.


Skinny and emaciated whales, whales foregoing their migration to their winter breeding grounds and very few calves - these recent observations have us worried.  Fortunately, with new tools and new collaborators, we're better equipped than ever to monitor how the animals are doing.

Researchers have long known that humpback whales have a diverse and colorful acoustic repertoire.  However, little is known about the role that communication plays in the lives of these animals.

AWF researchers are using underwater microphones, playback speakers and a team of trained observers to try to decipher the meaning of the various calls produced by these soniferous giants.  Click on the buttons to hear a sample of the sounds they have recorded.



Hatcheries produce approximately 1/3 of the salmon caught by commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska.  Unfortunately for the fishing community, humpbacks have developed a taste for hatchery-reared salmon.

Read about AWF / University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Madison Kosma's efforts to address this growing problem.

AWF is able to achieve its research goals in the remote wilderness of Southeast Alaska because of individual donors who are as passionate about our mission as we are.  

Please consider making a contribution today.