Photo ID is a foundational part of what we do. We attempt to photograph every member of a pod every year if possible. This allows us to determine the exact ages of individuals, calving rates, survival rates, and the general health of the population. Some of our pods center their range near Kenai Fjords and Prince William Sound, and are easy to find each year, while other pods may center their range near Kodiak or Southeast Alaska, and we see them only one every few or several years.
Notches and nicks in the dorsal fin, as well as saddle patch pigmentation and scratches allow for the identification of individuals.
Here is Eldorado, AK12, born in 1993, sprouting over time.