The Bar Harbor Whale Museum is a non-profit, collaborative effort between the College of the Atlantic and the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, operating for the benefit of students, teachers and the public at large. The museum is dedicated “to develop in people an appreciation for the marine world and the Gulf of Maine through education, conservation, and the promotion of scientific research.”
Opened in 1991, the museum’s exhibits showcase the amazing ecology and wealth of marine life of the Gulf of Maine, the geographic extent of which reaches from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia and includes all or part of the coastlines of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada.
The Gulf of Maine includes Massachusetts Bay and the Bay of Fundy, and is home to the highest tides on Earth, which range as high as 50 feet or more. The Gulf is habitat for haddock, Acadian Redfish, Atlantic herring, the American lobster, and a variety of whales, seals, porpoises and other marine and bird life.
The museum is part of the Adopt A Whale program , the oldest and largest dedicated photo identification whale research program in the world, focusing on the North American Humpback, Atlantic Fin and Antarctic Humpback whales.
The Bar Harbor Whale Museum gift shop has a sizeable collection of marine mammal field guides, adult and children’s books on marine mammal science and ecology, and educational toys and gifts.
The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company is Maine’s largest boating tour company, featuring whale watching tours, puffin watching tours, lighthouse tours, nature cruises, a lobster fishing and seal watching tour, and other fun oceangoing outings.