The Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation and Cook Islands Whale Research

The Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation (CCRC) was founded nearly three decades ago by President and Director Nan Hauser. Its affiliated venture, Cook Islands Whale Research Project, investigates all species of whales, primarily focusing on the humpback whale population that travels through the equatorial South Pacific. Research topics within the project are diverse, including population identity, photo ID, acoustics, genetics, stable isotopes, blue carbon, satellite tagging, migration and navigation, infrared, and surface and underwater behavior.

Donate Get Updates

Make a Difference

As educators, we raise public awareness of marine conservation issues, especially those concerning cetaceans. It is imperative that we conduct accurate, scientific research and educate the world about whales and dolphins. Our work observes whales as bio-indicators of climate change.

Donate Get Updates

What’s the secret to whales saving the climate? Poo. Seriously.

Conservation of large marine mammals has become a tool that we can use to combat climate change. To help promote a healthy atmosphere, preservation of marine species, including whales, is an important factor in the equation. Click the link below for a video about how whale poo impacts our atmosphere!

How Whales Change Climate

Graphic of whale benefits

Many people underestimate the impact marine life has on climate.

The impact of whales on climate has been further explored and astounding conclusions have been reached. The interdisciplinary nature of marine science is demonstrated in many oceanic processes. The “whale pump” is an oceanic process in which chemistry, geology, physics and biology intertwine to reveal a significant decrease in atmospheric CO2 thanks to the whales.

Learn More about our research

Latest Posts

Dogs on a Boat

5 May 2020 It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon. The sun was shining, and the sea was calm, so team members Nan, Stan, and Katie, along with four excited dogs, Juneau, Miko, Kali, and Jack, set out on the ocean in the 25-foot inflatable for an afternoon at sea. With…

Continue reading

Team Surrounding Beached Whale

I love waking up in the morning and having absolutely no idea what new adventure might present itself. Exhausted from a very busy and intense whale season, we were out in bad weather yesterday hoping to find a singing male humpback. The calls started coming in at about 10:12 AM.…

Continue reading

Fishing Boat Team

Thanks to the fishermen, we were notified of a floating "blob". It turned out to be a very, very dead whale! Dead enough to make our eyes water. From our GoPro footage we noticed the next day that 17 vertebrae were hanging underneath, wrapped in fibrous tissue and blubber... a biologist's…

Continue reading