Humpback Season in Full Swing
The humpback whale season is in full swing. Since the first sighting of the season on September 26 in Maui, to the recent pair of whales that were spotted inside Honolulu Harbor the number of whales has been increasing as the gentle giants make their way from the colder northern pacific waters to the warmer, safer Hawaiian waters. This week one of the migrating humpbacks has run into some troubles. As KHON reported on January 6th, “National MarineFisheries crews are responding to reports of an entangled humpback whale 3 miles offshore of the Royal Hawaiian near Diamond Head.” According to the news report officials were notified via their whale hotline that there was a humpback whale entangled in buoys and rope. If the whale’s entanglement is life threatening the crews will then begin to untangle the animal. We covered some of the rules that are set in-place to protect these endangered animals at the beginning of the season, and these are some good things to keep in mind if you head out on a whale watching tour to view the whales, or if you happen to be boating in Hawaii. Humpback whales are an endangered species which became protected by the International Whaling Commission in 1966, although the Soviets continued illegal kills until the 1970’s. Their populations have seen increases in recent years and scientists believe that they are rebounding from over fishing which occurred years ago.