Ocean Alliance, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, was founded in 1971 by biologist Roger Payne. Led by Dr. Payne and Chief Executive Officer Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics, and genetics. From that data we work with our scientific partners to advise educators and policy makers on wise stewardship of the oceans to: reduce pollution, prevent the collapse of marine mammal populations, maintain human access to fish and other sea life, and benefit ocean and human health.


  • Ocean Alliance has been a global leader in whale research and conservation since 1970 when it founded The Whale Conservation Institute.
  • Ocean Alliance staff and students have been pioneers of many of today's research methodologies that are used worldwide to study live cetaceans.
  • Ocean Alliance runs the longest continuous research program based on recognized individual right whales - the most endangered of the great whales.
  • Ocean Alliance runs an established network of professional contacts and affiliations which make possible unique collaborations with the some of the world's leading scientists.
  • Involvement on a number of levels in award winning films, TV, an IMAX film and other educational efforts.
  • Ocean Alliance has produced over thirty-four documentaries and won numerous awards and honors.
  • Influential at international conferences and meetings.
  • Co-discovered in 1967 that humpback whales sing songs
  • Discovered that blue and fin whales can be heard across oceans.
  • Ocean Alliance is generating innovative, ground-breaking multi-ocean initiatives such as The Voyage of the Odyssey.
Oceans Matter

Ocean Alliance was the first to study live free ranging whales and use natural markings to identify them.

View our Image Gallery to see photos of whales that we've studied.

Did You Know

Sperm whales vocalize 24 hours a day, using echolocation for foraging, codas for communication, or complete silance to escape danger from orcas.

Odyssey and Whale