By Nina Wu
The humpback whales are here. More than 800 volunteers gathered data from the shores of Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii island during the annual Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count on Saturday.
A total of 267 whales were seen between 11:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday. Volunteers collected data from 59 sites statewide. Weather conditions were ideal for viewing humpback whales, with the exception of vog.
Preliminary data of whale sightings by site location is available at www.sanctuaryoceancounot.org/resources. The highest number of whales were seen from the shores of Kakaako, Magic Island and Diamond Head.
Two more Sanctuary ocean counts take place on Saturdays, Feb. 23 and March 30.
Visit sanctuaryoceancount.org for more information on becoming a volunteer or call 1-888-55-WHALE ext. 253.
By the way, if you're interested in buying a T-shirt to support the Sanctuary, this year's design is a compilation of student artwork from the Sanctuary's Ocean Contest.
Visit the NMSF Sanctuary Store to purchase the limited edition T-shirts, which are available with short sleeves or long sleeves for adults, and in youth sizes. All proceeds benefit the Sanctuary.