Categorized | Featured, News, Volunteering

Whale Sanctuary ocean count volunteers needed

Kristin Wohlschlagel, Contributing Editor,

A whale off the Kona-Kohala coast. (Photo by Michael Darden /

A whale off the Kona-Kohala coast.

(Photo by Michael Darden /

As reports begin to trickle in of whales spotted off Hawaii’s shores, it seems worthwhile to find out how to get involved with the annual ocean count. Determined to not miss out this year? Visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary website and discover that now is the time to register!

The following information is from its Web site:  “Volunteers are essential in conducting the sanctuary’s annual ocean count event. Volunteers monitor the water 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. The majority of participants are local residents, however expanding interest has brought us calls from the mainland, Australia.”

Registration for the sanctuary ocean count takes place from December to March each year. Select a site (Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai) and date for the count, and contact the appropriate office to register.

Some sites fill up quickly, so register as early as possible. If a site is already full, count coordinators can recommend an alternate location.

Oahu   397-2651 ext. 253 or toll free 1-888-55-WHALE ext. 253
Hawaii   1-888-55-WHALE ext. 253
Kauai   246-2860*


On the Big Island at least 21 whale watching sites are listed, including Punaluu Black Sand Beach Park, Hookena Beach Park, Hualalai, Kapaa Beach Park, Onekahkaha Beach Park (Hilo Bay) and Kehena Lookout. The count is conducted the last Saturday of January, February, and March (during peak whale season) of each year from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

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