Whale Watch On For Jan. 30
By MidWeek Staff
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At the beginning of each new year, the familiar sight of humpback whales returns to Island oceans.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will begin its annual Sanctuary Ocean Count at 8 a.m. on the last Saturday of this month at more than 60 sites on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island, and it is looking for both site leaders and general volunteers to help track the pods.
During the count, volunteers will monitor the water for signs of whale activity and common behaviors, including tail slaps, breaching and blows when whales surface for breathe.
Site leaders are responsible for general volunteer management and for overseeing data collection at their site. Two site leaders will be assigned to each location, and training is mandatory to ensure they are familiar with their responsibilities and procedures.
Registration for the Jan. 30, Feb. 27 and March 27 counts is now open. Sites in West Oahu include Ewa Beach Park, Ko Olina, Maili Park, Makua Cave and Kaena Point (West Shore). To sign up, go online to http://sanctuaryoceancount.org, or call 397-2651, ext. 253. Due to the need for consistent data over the course of the project, site leaders will be required to participate in all three dates.
For more information about the project or humpback whales, visit http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
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