Maui Celebrates World Whale Day, February 18, 2012

February 15, 2012, 9:04 AM HST · Updated February 15, 9:06 AM
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Whale Day Parade 2010. File photo by Sonia Isotov.

By Wendy Osher

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz officially proclaimed February 2012 as Humpback Whale Awareness Month in Hawai‘i.

“The humpback whale represents the diversity of ocean life that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands and reflects the deep connection the people of Hawai‘i share with the ocean,” said Gov. Abercrombie.

The humpback whale is Hawaii’s official marine mammal, and February is the best month of the year to catch a glimpse of them in Hawaiian waters.  The wintering whales return to Hawaii each year to mate, calve and nurse their young.

Michael King enjoyed the pathway through Eco-Alley to a huge tent housing the remarkable Curtain of 36,000 Origami Whales. File photo by Sonia Isotov.

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The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1992 through an act of Congress, to protect humpback whales and their habitat. The sanctuary is jointly managed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The sanctuary is offering a variety of whale watches, whale counts and other activities statewide throughout February to celebrate Humpback Whale Awareness Month.

Whale related events on Maui include:

  • Brown Bag Seminar: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Sanctuary Learning Center.  Special guest, Ed Lyman will discuss the sanctuary’s Large Whale Entanglement Response. For more information, call the Maui Sanctuary Office at (808) 879-2818.
  • Maui’s Parade of Whales takes place Saturday morning, February 18, as the official launch for World Whale Day.  The parade runs from 9 to 10 a.m. The theme this year is “World of Whales.” The parade travels along South Kihei Road, beginning at Alanui Keali’i Drive and moving northward, past Kalama Park to end at Kihei Public Library on Waimaihaihai Street.  For information call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1.
  • World Whale Day: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, February 18, 2012 at Kalama Park in Kihei.  One of Maui’s most popular events, World Whale Day (formerly known as “Whale Day”) is a free, all-day celebration that honors the humpback whales that come to Maui each winter. Newly expanded, World Whale Day includes free live entertainment on two stages, including performances by some of Hawaii’s top recording stars, including Anuhea, Hapa, John Cruz, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Marty Dread, Nuff Sedd and Willie K, plus hula and fire dance performances by Manutea Nui E. The second stage will feature chidren’s entertainers, including Uncle Wayne Watkins.  To learn more, visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org or call Pacific Whale Foundation at (808) 249-8811 ext. 1. Presented by Pacific Whale Foundation.
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