136 whales were sighted over 15 minutes at the 3rd coordinated count in 2022

Mar 26, 2022 5:52pm HST
* Updated March 27, 00:05

PC: Great Whale Count (file) / Pacific Whale Foundation

During the third coordinated census this year between the Pacific Whale Foundation on Maui and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, a total of 136 whale sightings were recorded during the 15-minute period between 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Saturday.

The HIHWNMS Ocean Count collected data from 32 locations off O’ahu, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island; while the PWF census collected data from 12 Maui sites at 15-minute intervals between 8:30 a.m. and 11:50 a.m

  • On Maui, volunteers observed a total of 56 whales from 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., the most of any time during the day’s census.
  • On the islands of Hawai’i, O’ahu and Kaua’i, between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., volunteers counted a total of 93 whale sightings, the most during the entire day count.

This is the first census since the beginning of COVID-19 to welcome back a small number of volunteers at designated locations to participate in the census.

This is the fourth year that both censuses will be coordinated on the same days to ensure data from all of Hawaii‘s main islands is collected simultaneously.

count ocean promotes public awareness of humpback whales, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and shore-based whale watching opportunities. Site managers count humpback whale sightings and document surface behavior of the animals during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity off the coasts of the islands of O’ahu, Kaua’i and Hawaii. Ocean Count is supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.


The Great Whale Count from the Pacific Whale Foundation, as part of a long-term survey of humpback whales in Hawaii, had site managers count whales from shore. This event provides a snapshot of trends in the relative abundance of cetaceans and is one of the world’s longest-running cetacean-based collaborative science projects.


Both censuses take place three times a year during peak whale season on the last Saturdays of January, February and March.

Preliminary data on whale sightings in the Sanctuary Ocean Count by location is available at: https://oceancount.org/resources/. For more information, visit the sanctuary’s website at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

For the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Great Whale Count data, see https://www.pacificwhale.org/research/community-science/ with more information below www.mauiwhalefestival.org

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