2012 Sanctuary Ocean Count Dates Announced

The 2012 Sanctuary Ocean Count is held on the last Saturday of January, February, and March. The day starts at 8 a.m. and ends at about 12:15.  The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is calling for volunteers to help with their annual Sanctuary Ocean Count; they need site leaders and volunteers to count. This year on January 28, February 25, and March 31 volunteers and site leaders will gather at specific locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands to count the number of Humpbacks in Hawaiian waters.

About The Sanctuary Ocean Count

According to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Humpback whale populations are still relatively unknown. The sanctuary has been sponsoring the counting events over the past couple of years to provide a relative approximation of the whale’s population and its distribution locally. The Sanctuary Ocean Count also serves as a way for residents and visitors to see whales interacting in their breeding grounds. Currently the Sanctuary Ocean Count is held on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, and Kaho’olawe. The first count was held in February of 2006 on Oahu, and by 1999 the Big Island was involved. Since then, it seems that every year the count has grown. Fast forward to today and the Sanctuary Ocean Count covers 60 different sites from four different Islands; they have an estimate 2,000 enlisted volunteers and hopes to expand  in the future.

What Do Volunteers Do?

As a volunteer you’ll be assigned a site leader who will give you more specific instructions about where to meet on the day of the count. During the count volunteers will monitor the waters for signs of humpback whale activity, help record whale behaviors, complete a site map, and contribute to public awareness about whale watch opportunities around the islands.

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