Whale Sightings Trickle In as Season Gets Started

October 22, 2012, 1:18 PM HST · Updated October 22, 2:33 PM
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Photo courtesy Lahaina Cruise Company.

By Wendy Osher

Another whale sighting was reported in waters off of Maui, this time by the Lahaina Cruise Company.

The sighting is among the first in the state this season, with the first official sighting reported off of Honokohau Harbor on the Big Island of Hawai’i on August 31, 2012; and the first official Maui sighting reported outside of Ma’alaea Harbor on October 15, 2012.

The latest sighting was reported at around 11:35 a.m. on Sunday, October 21, 2012 by crews aboard the Kaulana vessel while en route to Lana’i on a snorkeling adventure.

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The Kaulana vessel operates under the Lahaina Cruise Company, a local charter company that has been around for more than 30 years, and has its own conservation division, the Hawai’i Ocean Project.

In each of the past three years, the first sightings off Maui took place on October 20, according to officials at the Pacific Whale Foundation. According to the PWF, 10 of the last 14 first sightings reported off Maui took place in October.  The others were in late September or early November.

Humpback whales migrate to Hawai’i on an annual basis during the winter months to mate and give birth.  The sighting serves as a reminder of the upcoming whale season, which traditionally runs from November through May.

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