The research team did not have to go far on July 3rd to spot a dolphin. There was one swimming around Maalaea Harbor! It looked like a sub-adult, meaning it was not fully grown. We photographed it following our protocol, and this week searched for a match within our bottlenose dolphin catalog, but this individual had not been photographed previously by our researchers. When we were examining the photos, we noticed a lot of tooth rake scars on the posterior (back) half of its body – perhaps it was seeking shelter from another dolphin or predator, it was curious, or maybe it had simply gotten lost. The team watched for a while and eventually the dolphin followed another boat out of the harbor. Teenagers are always getting into trouble!
We just finished a wonderful milestone – the first time that the research department completed systematic transect surveys on our research vessel Ocean Protector throughout the entire whale season (December – April). We were hampered by some windy weather in April but overall it was a successful season. January and February had the most whale sightings, as usual, although we did see whales regularly throughout all of the season.
Some of the highlights of this whale season were:
- 55 survey days and 455 hours in the field, covering 3218 nautical miles.
- 293 sightings of humpback whales.
- 12 sightings of bottlenose dolphins.
- 11 sightings of spotted dolphins.
- 5 sightings of spinner dolphins.
- 3 encounters with false killer whales.
- 1 encounter with short-finned pilot whales.
Thank you to our wonderful interns and volunteers, as well as our members and supporters whose donations continue to fund our research efforts.
On Friday, 01/24/2014 at 1:56 pm we had a resighting of Pa’ani, one of the dolphins in our Adopt a Dolphin program. She was part of a pod of seven bottlenose dolphins encountered by our Research Team.
Two of the dolphins were females with their young. Pa’ani had a juvenile dolphin tucked in next to her who was also seen with her last year.
“Pa’ani” means playful in Hawaiian. This dolphin is easily recognized by the distinct shape of the trailing edge of her dorsal fin.
With a donation of $25 or more, you can adopt Pa’ani, and in the process, you will be helping to support research, education and conservation programs to protect all dolphins and whales in the Pacific Ocean.
Find out more details about our whale and dolphin adoption program.