Christine L. Brammer
Volunteers count whales during final 2013
Sanctuary Ocean Count event
Approximately 600 volunteers gathered data from the shores of Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii Island during today's annual Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count. The count is a yearly shore-based census that provides snapshot data on humpback whales. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey.
Volunteers collected data from 60 sites statewide. A total of 194 whales were seen during the 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. time period, the most of any time period throughout today's count (58 sites reported data).The day began with excellent viewing conditions at most locations but rain eventually cancelled quite a few sites.
Preliminary data detailing whale sightings by site location is available at: http://www.sanctuaryoceancount.org/resources/
Today's count was the last event of the 2013 Sanctuary Ocean Count project. For information on becoming a Sanctuary Ocean Count volunteer in 2014, visit sanctuaryoceancount.org or hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
The sanctuary which is administered by a partnership of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai'i through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), protects humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters where they migrate each winter to mate, calve, and nurse their young.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on
Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.