A Unique Whale Adoption Program: Cetacean Society International

Written by on November 14, 2012 in Marine Life
Salt's Fluke.

Salt. Photo credit: Carole Carlson.

Cetacean Society International (CSI) is a non-profit conservation, education and research organization that works for whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their marine environment.

CSI represents all cetaceans at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  They promote whale watching as an economic alternative to whaling and participate in humane research projects across the globe, particularly in developing nations.

CSI recently launched the Humpback Whale Adoption Program.  There are many organizations that allow individuals to symbolically adopt wild animals, but the CSI’s Adoption Program is the only one to provide the adoptee with actual footage of the adopted whale in the wild.  It also comes with booklet about the whale that includes its family tree.

The money from the adoption program goes a long way to help fight whaling, support non-invasive research efforts, and provide grants for attendance at the IWC meetings.  For example, CSI has provided financial support to:

There are two whales in the program, Salt and Colt.  Salt is a female with 12 known calves and 8 known grandcalves.  She is at least 44 years old and was the first whale to be given a name.

Colt. Photo credit: Carole Carlson.

Colt. Photo credit: Carole Carlson.

Colt is a 31 year-old male who was recently voted “the friendliest whale in the world” by CSI’s Board of Directors. He won this title because he always approaches the whale watching boats and interacts with the people aboard, sometimes splashing or blowing on them. He’s also known to stay around for much longer than any other whale and can sometimes be seen with his head on one side of the boat and his tail on the other.


You can meet Salt and Colt (and learn more about adopting them) in the following short videos:



Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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  1. Dan Knaub says:


    A wonderful piece! Thanks for sharing this message of beautiful whales, sharing their unique interest in people.

  2. Bill Rossiter says:

    Thanks, Emily, for bringing this most innovative whale adoption program to my attention, just in time for Christmas gifts for whale-loving friends and family. I’ve heard about Salt; she’s a very famous whale thousands of people have seen on whale watches near Cape Cod, and she seems to like bringing her calves to watch the people too. How is it possible anyone would want to kill whales like Salt and Colt? Thanks for telling me how to help save them.

  3. Rachel says:

    I adopted salt a year ago for a high school art class who marveled at the concept of adopting a wild animal. I STILL get emails from the kids about how cool the video is. Go team!! Makes an awesome gift- especially for people who don’t know they love whales.

  4. Amazing – these whales are captivating, we must protect them at all costs!
    Thanks for this piece about the whales, and the video!

  5. Brian Benito Jr. says:

    Great article. I have recently adopted Salt and seeing the video footage was a real treat. She even breaches in it! Knowing that the money spent is going to help CSI is a bonus.

  6. Thank you for sharing the information about the original “CSI”, and about this unique whale adoption program–an inexpensive (but invaluable) way to experience Humpback whales Salt and Colt in the comfort of your home. Virtual whale watching is slowly becoming a clean and green global trend, and CSI’s Whale Adoption program is leading the way for anyone who wants to experience the splendor of these two magnificent whales with the click of a mouse.

  7. Emily says:

    Thank you all for the wonderful feedback. I am happy to help spread the word about this amazing program and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed seeing the “teaser” videos. (A big thank you to CSI for providing the videos and photos!) I hope Salt and Colt find their way into even more homes this holiday season.

  8. Paul DiGangi says:


    Thank you for posting your article about CSI and the humpback whale adoption program. What a fantastic gift for the holidays to adopt a whale and have video of that whale in the wild breaching and people watching. Some have never been able to see whales in the wild, so this special gift enables them to be right there with the whale. To be in their own home to experience that wonderful moment that will have a lifetime of memories. Go …Now….Adopt…Salt/Colt!!
    I have seen Salt/Colt on whale watches at Cape Cod and the videos make it real. Great excitment!!
    Thanks for helping save whales.