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Nearly 1,000 whales spotted off the Hawaiian Islands during February's count

Jason Moore
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

About 350 volunteers gathered on the shores of Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawaiʻi Island Saturday to count humpback whales.

It was the second of three whale counts organized by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Pacific Whale Foundation.

A total of 997 whales were spotted at about 42 whale watching sites across the islands:

  • Kaua‘i: 64 whales
  • O‘ahu: 232 whales
  • Hawaiʻi Island: 105 whales
  • Maui volunteers 596 whales

The foundations coordinating the event said the numbers may represent duplicate sightings of the same whale.

Data collected during the whale count can help reveal trends during the humpback whale season — which takes place every January, February and March.

According to the Sanctuary Ocean Count, whales typically make a return to the oceans that surround Hawaiʻi to mate, calve and nurse their young during the winter season.

The last whale count in the series will take place March 25 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers must register on the Sanctuary Ocean Count website by March 18 at noon to participate.

For more information and to sign up, click here.

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