Welcome to Cetos Research

Cetos Research Organization is a non-profit organization that conducts marine wildlife research and supports educational efforts in conservation and wildlife sciences in the marine environment as well as other habitats. Through our findings, we work to enhance and augment conservation and management of living marine and wildlife resources.


Our Research Projects

Cetos's scientific research efforts are currently focused in the Pacific waters of Hawai'i, as well as the Gulf of Maine, Alaska, Washington, California, and elsewhere throughout the world, including studies of the critically endangered vaquita in Mexico.

Humpback Behavior Project

Our longest running project on the behavioral ecology of Hawaiian humpback whales.

Offshore acoustic and visual surveys

Deepwater surveys looking at vocalizations of different species using different techniques.

Vaquita Project

Behavior, photo-identification, and population studies of this critically endangered porpoise only found in Mexico.


Please make a tax deductible donation to Cetos Research Organization


Support the Vaquita Recovery Fund

What is Cetos

Cetos Research Organization is a non-profit organization with a focus on studying endangered marine species and other wildlife species about which little is known. We identify and assess anthropogenic impacts especially on marine wildlife, and when appropriate, propose solutions to minimize potential disturbances. We have offices on the east coast (Cetos Atlantic), California (Cetos Pacific), and Hawai'i. All our personnel contribute on our various projects throughout the US and internationally.

Monitoring Surveys and Mitigation

Cetos Research LLC is a business arm of our collective with staff who bring the capability to lead and perform monitoring surveys for marine mammals and sea turtles, the experience to address mitigation work, and the background to produce environmental documentation such as EISs, EAs, BAs, etc. Our monitoring surveys can be performed from vessels and/or aerial based platforms for at-sea observations. Cetos LLC can supply a variety of reports and products, including but not limited to survey designs, mitigation plans, environmental reports, and more. These surveys are effective both as strategies to collect “baseline” data in waters where future projects will occur, or for real-time assessment of any effects of active offshore projects. Our reports cover issues related to ESA, MMPA, and NEPA.

For more on Cetos LLC, please check out the link for past surveys we have done and our Cetos LLC page.



Cetos Recent News


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  • Cetos would like to officially announce here our thanks and acknowledgement of a recent large contribution supporting our Cetos sponsored VAQUITA research and conservation work. Cetos received the generous support as part of a World Cetacean Alliance Fundraising dinner and auction in Azores. The WCA contribution were boosted by NozoMojo LLC via WCA member Morten Joergensen. We are grateful that all across the world the work led by Dr. Tom Jefferson is receiving much needed support and for the focus brought to this important work during the WCA recent fundraising event. A whale of a shout out and out thanks go to WCA and NozoMojo LLC!
  • Cetos wrapped up our recent crowdsourcing fundraising campaign on Experiment.com, a site for scientists to fund their projects. We met our target fundraising goal and raised $2500 towards R&D of our new affodable tag. Check out our page at Experiment.com to learn more about our project - Search for “humpback whale” and our View into Vocalizations project will pop up. Our goal is to continue our non-invasive tagging whale research in 2017.
  • Our fundraising efforts now are geared towards our 2017 field research project in Hawaii and our ongoing Vaquita work.
  • Cetos and BioWaves, have completed Stage 1 of our Killer Whale Ecotype Classifier Project effort to develop whistle and click classifiers for killer whales. This work was generously funded by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. We have successfully begun the work for an automated system for the acoustic identification of orca calls, from different orca ecotypes in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Cetos researchers were accepted to give 2 scientific presentations at the upcoming Society of Marine Mammalogy meeting that will be held in San Francisco, California in December 2015.
  • One is a report of our findings (soon to be submitted for publication) on humpback whale calf vulnerability to ship strikes;
  • The other presents our findings from data acquired during our 2015 Field Season tagging study on Maui.
  • Cetos researchers are working up data to present for the upcoming Society of Marine Mammalogy meeting that will be held in San Francisco California December 2015.
  • We are sad to report our long standing "Buy Chocolates with a Conscience" program is over. Our long time collaborator and renowned CA chocolatier Coco Délice has closed their doors. Stay tuned for new products and ways we team with ecologically minded vendors who want to help support conservation and our research.
  • You can still support Cetos every time you buy something from Amazon! When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Cetos Research Organization. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-0451099 and support us every time you shop!
  • Maren Anderson, Cetos Research and Staff Associate, gave a talk to a full house for the American Cetacean Society monthly meetings. The talk was called "View Into Vocalizations" and was a great overview of the Cetos work over the last 15 years, our underwater videography findings and social sounds studies of Hawaiian humpback whales.
  • Cetos's most recent scientific publication came out in Aquatic Mammals in March 2014 (issue #40): Effects of Sex, Seasonal Period, and Sea State on Calf Behavior in Hawaiian Humpback Whales.
  • Cetos and Viva Vaquita continue to team with Dr. Tom Jefferson in his efforts to study this highly endangered marine mammal. See our Vaquita page to learn more or to donate directly via Paypal. Recent studies show there are only 97 individuals left. Please help our conservation efforts for this critically endangered animals.
  • Cetos completed a successful 2015 Field Season on Maui and met all our research goals! Visiting scientists from BioWaves,Scripps, and SES came and participated for some of the research. We got several tags on whales including on mothers and calves and continued our study on underwater behavior and social calls of humpbacks in Hawaiian waters.
  • Cetos has cool gifts! We have Cetos athletic socks, and logo stickers for your car, boat, pelican case, snowboard, etc! When you make a donation, we will send you a thank you gift. Read more about it on our Support Us page.