Second Whale Count of 2022 in Hawaii

Yesterday was the second annual whale count of 2022 in Hawaii. This is done three times a year at whale peak months, which are January through March. The count was organized by two groups; the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Pacific Whale Foundation. This is the fourth year that the two organizations have come together to gather data on the same day. Due to COVID-19 there were no volunteers involved in the survey.

So how does this work? Eighty-one site leaders were involved in counting whale activity in various areas. The leaders were placed around O’ahu, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i islands. They collected data from 43 different sites on the Hawaiian islands. By the end of the survey, it was recorded that 228 whales were seen from 8:30am – 8:45am.

Great Whale Count by Pacific Whale Foundation collected data from 11 sites on Maui. A total of 94 whales were seen during the 15 minutes from 8:30am – 8:45am. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count collected data from 32 sites. These sites were around the islands of Hawai’i, O’ahu and Kaua’i between 9-9:15am, 135 whale sighting were recorded.

In all the locations, the numbers were higher than they’ve ever been. This is promising for our whale population. Even though some sites had poor visibility due to high tides, the count was still a success. Both whale counting teams provided us with data about the whales and their activities during peak whale months. The next and final whale count for the year will be on March 26th.

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