Flukebook – Continuing growth and technical advancement for cetacean photo identification and data archiving, including automated fin, fluke, and body matching
Drew Blount, Gianna Minton, Christin Khan, Jacob Levenson, Violaine Dulau, Shane Gero, Jason Parham, Jason Holmberg
International Whaling Commission
Flukebook (flukebook.org) is a non-profit, open source cetacean data archiving and photo-identification tool developed under the larger Wildbook platform (wildbook.org) that uses computer vision and machine learning to facilitate automated identification of individual animals in the wild. In 2016, the IWC approved funding for the development of a regional data platform for the Arabian Sea Whale Network (ASWN) to be implemented in collaboration with Wild Me (wildme.org), the software and machine learning developers of Flukebook. This foundational collaboration expanded the capabilities of Flukebook and served as the springboard for subsequent years of growth in data and usage (e.g., by regional consortiums), as well as significant technical improvements in 2019-2020 in the application of computer vision and machine learning, specifically for North Atlantic and Southern right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, and multiple species of dolphins. Ongoing improvements in our community support model and technical advances are bringing together industry, governmental, and NGO collaborators in a global-scale platform for cetacean research.