As this ends our Humpback Season, I thought I should leave off with some good news. All the new calves we’ve seen this season bode well for the future of the Humpback population in the North Pacific. According to research results released in 2008 by SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpback Whales in the North Pacific – a research project involving more than 400 researchers in 10 countries) there are probably somewhere between 18,000 – 20,000 Humpbacks living in the North Pacific, with the population wintering in Hawaii seeing a 5.5% – 6% annual rate of increase since the early 1990′s.
We feel really lucky that we’ve been able to get a glimpse of the lives of these Humpbacks this winter, and we appreciate everything you’ve done to help Big Island visitors and residents experience these special moments too.
We want to send a Mahalo out to each of you who have made this season possible, a Mahalo to those of you who sent emails with questions and words of encouragement about these reports, and a Mahalo to those of you who’ve shared photos, anecdotes and videos with us this year.
Though our season is officially over, no one has told that to the Humpbacks yet! And based on what’s happened the past few years, we expect we’ll be seeing sporadic sightings from our Snorkel and Sunset Cruises well into May.
Till next season, a hui ho!
Claire (and the Ocean Sports ‘Ohana)