Edit ModuleShow Tags

Fins Up: It’s Whale-Counting Season in Hawai‘i

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary needs your help.


Photo: Thinkstock


For a lot of people, whale season in Hawai‘i is a time to hike up Makapu‘u and watch humpbacks enjoying the warm winter waters of the Islands, where they come to breed. But did you know you can watch whales for science? Hawai‘i is the only U.S. state where humpback whales mate, calve and nurse their young, making it an ideal place to monitor the endangered whales’ behavior.


This month and next, volunteers can help the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary with its research by observing whales at more than 60 sites around the Islands, 26 on O‘ahu. At these sanctuary ocean counts, volunteers record how many whales they see throughout the morning and what their behaviors are, such as tail slapping, breaching and fluke-up diving. “It’s citizen science,” says Ed Lyman, resource protection manager and large-whale entanglement response coordinator. While the biggest gain from these counts is that everyday people become engaged stewards of the ocean, “the beauty of getting the public involved is they gather the very science we need,” says Lyman.


Sanctuary ocean counts will be held Feb. 28 and March 28 from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov


Read More Stories by Katrina Valcourt


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine September 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags



Remembering Anthony Bourdain, Who Helped Share the Stories of Hawai‘i

Anthony Bourdain

The chef, writer and TV host filmed episodes of "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown" in the Islands.


7 Iconic Sugar Mill Smokestacks That Still Stand Tall in Hawai‘i

Smokestacks Sugar Mill Ladd

The landmark smokestacks serve as daily reminders of these communities’ rich plantation history.


Hawaiʻi Summer 2018 Bon Dance Schedule

Obon Festival Moiliili

Obon season is here, time to dance!


The Ultimate “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Drinking Game

Jurassic World

The filmed-in-Hawai‘i sequel to 2015’s summer blockbuster premieres June 22.

Edit ModuleShow Tags