Friends of Fluke

Whale Trust

Dr. Jim Darling, the primary scientist of Whale Trust on Maui, Hawaii, is the first whale expert identified by Betsy Collins, Executive Director of Fluke Foundation, as a potential friend of Fluke Foundation. We have supported Whale Trust in many ways over the last 15 years. Our time with Jim Darling, Flip Nicklin and Meagan Jones of Whale Trust has been positively life altering.

A primary research objective of Whale Trust is to contribute to the understanding of natural behavior patterns in whales. Some well known research they are conducting is the Whale Song Study.

See Whale Trust website at

View YouTube video of Meagan Jones, Ph.D below or click here.

“No living animals have captured our imagination as have the great whales. The indescribable grace, power and beauty of a whale as it glides under water, leaps toward the sky, or lifts its flukes and slides into the sea symbolize a vanishing poetry of the wild.”

—Dr. James Darling

Marine Life Studies (MLS)

Marine Life Studies, founded by Peggy Stap, is primarily focused on the study of the foraging strategies of transient and offshore killer whales. MLS also investigates the abundance, distributions, movement and frequency of occurrence of other whale and dolphin species in the Monterey Bay which is within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These activities take place under the General Authorization for Scientific Research, a permit issued by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Mary Whitney joins Peggy Stap on her research and rescue vessel whenever possible.

Fluke Foundation considers Marine Life Studies to be a lifelong friend with many friends in common. The two have worked togther successfully on various projects including research and fundraising. Their most well known collaboration is the Whale Entanglement Team (WET). Fluke Foundation and Marine Life Studies were not only instrumental in the creation of the all volunteer entangled whale rescue program named Whale Entanglement Team (WET). Fluke Foundation also partnered with Marine Life Studies to fund and acquire the necessary specialized whale disentanglement tools, equipment, and outreach materials.

Find Marine Life Studies at

WET—Whale Entanglement Team

In 2006, Fluke Foundation and Marine Life Studies started a partnership to develop a large whale disentanglement program for the Monterey Bay and surrounding area. We saw whales in need of rescue and decided to help. WET is strongly influenced by protocol and training from the large whale disentanglement network of Hawaii. Ten years later, a network of teams covers most of CA. WET is a member of this larger coordinated network of teams called California Whale Rescue (CWR). CWR and WET operate under the direction of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Protected Resources. And respond to whales entangled in fishing gear and marine debris under the authority of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program permit #93

Fishers, boaters, and all ocean users play an important role saving whales in distress from pain, deformity, and death. Please report injured, entangled and ship-struck whales to the toll-free Hotline 24 hours/365 days at:

1 (877) SOS-WHALE (767-9425)
or hail U.S. Coast Guard VHF Ch-16

For information on WET see

Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS)

The small wild flock of California Condors in central coastal CA is a direct result of the efforts of the Ventana Wildlife Society and their collaborators. The ongoing success depends largely on the ability to continue caring for the wild flock. Once free-flying in the wild, they continue this care by providing for the safety and health of each condor. VWS must often test each condor twice a year to treat cases of lead poisoning and other health problems these giant birds endure. It is simply not enough to just take zoo-bred condors and release them to the wild. Ventana Wildlife Society gives each bird its best chance at survival so the species as a whole will survive. GPS units on the birds provide useful data.

Fluke Foundation has been a friend of Ventana Wildlife Society for many years. We’ve helped with studying DDT levels in marine mammal blubber to exposing the deadly dangers of lead bullets, and there’s more to come.

For more details go to

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