Kauai and the Big Island each tallied an average of six whales seen during 15-minute spans Saturday.
“For Kauai, the island average sighting of six whales per 15-minute count period is high for a February count,” said Jean Souza, the Kauai Programs Coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. “Many sites reported seeing lots of breaching behaviors.”
About 900 volunteers collected data from the shores of Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii Island during the second of three annual HIHWNMS Ocean Counts, said Fiona Langenberger, the HIHWNMS programs administrator, in a release.
The count is an annual shore-based census which provides snapshot data on humpback whales. During the Ocean Count, volunteers tally humpback whale and other marine animals and document the whales’ surface behavior.
“A total of 297 whales were seen during the 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. time period,” Langenberger said. “This was the most of any time period throughout Saturday’s count with 58 sites reporting data. The calm water conditions were great for spotting whales and other marine wildlife, although conditions were hazy in many areas.”
One more Sanctuary Ocean Count is scheduled for March 29.
Info: www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov, or call 268-3087.