After Humpback Whale Count, Researchers Say It's Too Early To Determine Trends

Apr 2, 2019

The volunteer count of humpback whales at the Makapuu Lighthouse lookout wrapped up this past weekend.
Credit Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count

Whale researchers say it's premature to draw any conclusions from the latest count that wrapped up over the past weekend.

A total of 109 humpback whales were counted in Hawaiian waters on Saturday as over 430 volunteers finished data-gathering from the shores of O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i island.

Both the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Pacific Whale Foundation coordinated their counts for the first time this year. 

Volunteers collected data from 54 sites across the main islands. Saturday's count was the last event of three for the year. Previous counts were held in January and February.

The counts were done on the same day to ensure the information was collected simultaneously.  

Researchers are working with others to discuss the count information and may have some trends to share in the next month or so, said NOAA's Cindy Among-Serra.