Hi Andre, Frank, and anyone else interested,
Frank is absolutely right about Pepper -- it was easy to identify her on the boat on July 11th, mainly because I've seen her so much out on Stellwagen -- but she also has a pretty identifiable fluke pattern not only because of that marking on her right side of her fluke and also because she is one of few whales with an asymmetrical core of black and white. Andre, if you were to look at two clear photos of Pepper and any other whale, it would be pretty obvious to you that those color patterns are quite unique. (Obviously it is tougher when the tail is almost all white or all black, which many of them are). I am not as familiar with shuffleboard and would have to look at a photo of him/her to confirm.
There is an annual naming conference held in Ptown in the Spring each year where scientists and naturalists come together and vote on the names that have been suggested. The names are based on the markings on their tails. Pepper is a rare exception because she was named not by her tail pigmentation but rather on her close proximity and "friendship" with Salt (who was also named irregularly by her strange, white dorsal fin rather than her fluke).
The WDCS and Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies should have catalogs online still. It's pretty awesome to see the whole Gulf of Maine catalog, which is probably now up at around 2500 humpbacks or so. Some of the individuals and their names are very clever! (Check out a whale named "Shuttle" and you will see what I mean).
Let me know if you have other questions about this stuff, or if you can't find a catalog.