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E komo mai to the Sanctuary Ocean Count Project with Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary!

IMPORTANT: In the event another government shutdown occurs the 2019 Sanctuary Ocean Count will still commence thanks to the support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation!


The Sanctuary Ocean Count is a signature outreach and citizen science project that the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary hosts annually. Ocean Count serves to promote public awareness about humpback whales, the sanctuary, and shore-based whale watching opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands. The count is conducted three times per year during peak whale season and provides a snapshot of humpback whales sightings from the shoreline.

Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey which is from 8 am to 12 noon. Since it is an Ocean Count we also encourage noting down any other species you might see during the count. The Sanctuary Ocean Count project is highly dependent on and hugely successful due to our enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers! A similar effort is also done on Maui with the Pacific Whale Foundation.

The 2019 Sanctuary Ocean Counts are scheduled for the following Saturday’s: January 26, February 23, and March 30Registration is now OPEN! Please click the registration tab to register! Please note that registration closes one week prior to the event date. Mahalo for your understanding.