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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.

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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.

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Collaborating Scientists

We are able to achieve so much more when we collaborate with other scientists and work together towards the same goal. CCRC is honored to get to work alongside these and other amazing scientists. Read about some of our collaborating scientists below!


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, the conservation 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

Whale Guardian

Watch the trailer below of a new film we made with Nature Conservation Films Worldwide!


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.

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Latest Posts

  On March 24th, 2022, we spent our first day on Challenger Bank in Bermuda! We collected whale photo ID's, sloughed skin samples for DNA, drone footage displaying behavior of a competitive group of 5 humpbacks and a perfect 2022 humpback song from beginning to end.   THE SOUND OF

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29 March 2020 For the last five weeks, Nan and Katie have been visiting local primary school Apii Te Uki Ou on "Funky Fridays" to teach a group of curious students about marine science and the Cook Islands' humpback whales. We met with the same small group of students each…

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Recent Mother and Calf Pairs in Rarotonga

31 August 2020 Whale season has suddenly picked up over the past couple of weeks! After a slow start to the season, we can hardly go anywhere without seeing whales anymore! On Saturday, August 22nd, Nan, Stan, and Katie spent the whole day driving around the island looking for whales…

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A Whale Named Chief

21 August 2020 The Cook Islands Whale Research team is very saddened by the death of Rarotonga's Vaka Puaikura Fire Chief Barry Hill, who died Saturday morning (the 15th of August) at Rarotonga Hospital. His granddaughter Amy Koekemoer is an integral part of our team, and we promised to name…

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