About Humpback Whale Awareness Month In Hawaii
A release from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources announced on February 13 that Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Shatz have offically proclaimed February 2012 as Humpback Whale Awareness Month in Hawaii. Governor Abercrombie said “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,” According to the release from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, “In 1992, an act of Congress designated the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to protect humpback whales and their habitat. The sanctuary is jointly managed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).” Every winter humpback whales from across the Pacific Ocean slowly make their way to the warm, shallow, protected waters that surround Hawaii. The whales come here to mate, calve, and nurse their young, and according to National Geographic “these whales are found near coastlines, feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton, and small fish.” When the mother whales escort their young calves on the long journey across the pacific, they can often be witnessed touching flippers, and as National Geographic’s website states these actions appear to be gestures of affection. Watching these massive creatures in the waters of the coast of Hawaii is truly a unique experience that should not be passed up if you happen to be here during the months that the whales frequent Hawaiian waters. Typically they begin to arrive in late December, and continue to vacation in Hawaii until early May. The peak of the whale season in Hawaii happens during the month of February so during Humpback Whale Awareness Month there will be plenty of whales for all to see in the waters off the coast of Hawaii.
Written By: Stephanie Griffin-Ross