Whale Watching in Maui Hawaii
WHALE OF A SEASON!
doesn’t take much for most people to recognize that Hawai’i is a special
place. But did you know that Hawai’i is home to what is believed to be
the largest seasonal population of humpback whales anywhere in the
winter, from November to May, visitors, residents, and ocean users in
Hawai’i share the ocean with thousands of humpbacks that migrate
thousands of miles from their northern feeding grounds to the warm,
shallow waters of the Hawaiian Islands where they mate, calve, and nurse
their young. For this reason the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale
National Marine Sanctuary (sanctuary) was designated to protect humpback
whales and their habitat in Hawai’i.
population of humpback whales (central North Pacific stock) that uses
Hawai’i’s waters as their principle wintering ground likely lies between
10,000 and 15,000 animals, although not all of these animals are in
Hawai’i at the same time during the season. The lower number represents a
population estimate determined by a comprehensive research effort done
between 2004 and 2006. The upper number represents a conservative
approximation of growth based on annual rate of increase determined in
2006 and observation of other population indicators indicating that the
population is likely still increasing.
whale season it is commonplace to see humpback whales resting near shore
as well as performing acrobatic displays that can be seen from miles
away. On one recent peak season day, researchers observed twenty
different mother calf pairs just in Maalaea Bay (the Maui Sunseeker is
located on the coast of this Bay).
no doubt that Hawai’i offers some of the most unique whale watching in
the world and that has led whale watching to become very popular among
both visitors and residents alike. There is nothing like experiencing
the breaches and tail slapping of humpback whales whether from boat or
shore, and, although populations seem to still be increasing the whales
still need our help! They are threatened by injuries caused by
collisions with vessels and by entanglement in fishing gear and marine
This season, four whales have been
reported and confirmed entangled and at least ten whales were confirmed
to have been involved in a collision with some type of vessel.
Monday, March 11, 2013, the sanctuary led a response effort to free an
entangled male humpback whale and the animal was successfully
disentangled in waters surrounding Maui. The entanglement involved
several wraps of small gauge line around the animal’s tail, which was
already cutting into the animal, making the entanglement life
threatening. In total, over 200 feet of line, and 2 buoys were recovered
from the entangled animal that swam off quickly once cut free. After
some investigation the animal appears to have been entangled in local
objective of the rescue program is not just to free animals but to also
gain information to reduce the future threat of entanglement.
help support this work and other work of the sanctuary by donating to
the Hawai’i National Marine Sanctuary Foundation or by supporting the
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Kohola Campaign.
Enjoy the whales and help protect them for future generations!
Christine Brammer, Communications Coordinator
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was designated
by Congress in 1992 to ensure the protection of humpback whales and
their habitat in Hawai’i.
sanctuary is managed jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and
Natural Resources. The sanctuary focuses their management efforts focus
on education, outreach, research, and resource protection.
Visit us in person at:
Humpback Whale Sanctuary
Kihei, HI 96753
SPONSORED BY : MAUI SUNSEEKER LGBT RESORT
At the Maui Sunseeker we’ve taken every opportunity to make our studios,
rooms and suites especially inviting and comfortable. Our private
lanais with either garden or ocean views welcome you with true Hawaiian