December usually marks the start of humpback whale season in Hawaii, but experts say the animals have been slow to return this year.
The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators. But officials at the Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary said they’ve been getting reports that the whales have been difficult to spot so far.
“This isn’t a concern, but it’s of interest. One theory was that something like this happened as whales increased. It’s a product of their success,” said Ed Lyman, a Maui-based resource protection manager and response coordinator for the sanctuary.
“What I’m seeing out there right now I would have expected a month ago,” said Lyman, who was surprised by how few of the animals he saw while responding to a call about a distressed calf on Christmas Eve. “We’ve just seen a handful of whales.”
It will be a while before officials have hard numbers because the annual whale counts don’t take place until the last Saturday of January, February and March, according to former sanctuary co-manager Jeff Walters.
“They don’t necessarily show up in the same place at the same time every year,” Walters said.
More than 10,000 humpback whales make the winter journey from Alaska to the warm waters off Hawaii to mate and give birth.
Lyman said the whales’ absence could just mean they’re spending more time feeding in northern waters, possibly because of El Nino disruptions or because their population has gone up.
“With more animals, they’re competing against each other for that food resource, and it takes an energy of reserve to make that long migration over 2,000 miles,” he said.
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Like other tourists, they found this place an overpriced rip off, that’s like any number of other cities, instead of the Paradise it once was. They decided to go elsewhere this year.
Yep. The whales also had enough of Mayor Caldwell ‘ s pothole ridden roads.
Sounds like they found another area to go. Some place where there are no boats to follow them around.
So long and thanks for all the fish
Surprised no one has blamed “Global Warming” yet! Global warming caused my hair to turn gray much earlier than my dad’s!
Better to have grey hair than none at all.
Spineless Ige will offer them a million dollars to have another task force to look into the whale’s thinking.
All that dirty storm drain run off from the rail construction site is a turn off for the whales.
Really the article is about whales and you add rail so obsessed with rail.
Maybe the President’s secret service chased away?
IRT “…spending more time feeding… “: Could it be that there is less to eat due to the over fishing of the commercial fleets that harvest both full grown fish and the eggs that the fish have spawned. It is well with in reason that mans hand is in the mix somewhere.
Could all that highly radioactive water going into the Pacific from Fukushima have something to do with this??
Take a quick peek at Japan, that country has been known to take numbers of whales for “research” purposes.
Maybe, they got hit by the Superferry.
You win! Lmao
Since the “new improve edition” missed the absence of some of my favorite humorous posters. Today, it seem new ones have emerged. Thanks for the laughter!