Freeing the Whales

Entanglement in fishing gear is responsible for the death of an estimated 300,000 whales and dolphins each year. Last year, a total of 13 individual humpbacks were confirmed entangled in Hawai’i waters. It was the highest annual number of confirmed large whale entanglements in Hawai’i since reporting began in 2002. While 13 confirmed entanglements is a far cry from 300,000 animals, the issue hits home when it happens right in your backyard.

On Maui, the Hawai’i Disentanglement Network is responsible for responding to large whale entanglements. The Network is comprised of Sanctuary staff, tour boat operators, commercial airline pilots, tugboat captains, fishers, researchers, and private citizens. The Network relies on these individuals to alert the proper authorities of an entanglement. On-the-water efforts to disentangle animals are led by the Sanctuary’s Large Whale Disentanglement Coordinator, Ed Lyman.

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Our Experts Make the Difference

What sets Pacific Whale Foundation eco-cruises apart from other standard ocean tours? If you already joined us on one of our many Eco-Adventures then you already know the answer. It’s our talented and passionate vessel staff.

Every Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventure cruise is led by a team of certified Marine Naturalists, all of whom hold graduate or undergraduate degrees in marine biology, ecology or related sciences. In addition, our staff must complete our rigorous certification program, which includes testing their knowledge about Hawaii’s marine environment, local geography and culture, presentation skills and Red Cross CPR, First Aid and Lifesaving Certifications. You can now meet our team of experts on our website.

Ocean Spirit approaching destination Oahu

Ocean Spirit’s current location:

Captain John Patti reports:

“Delivery is coming along as planned. We’re just within 7 hundred miles of Koolina marina now and have enjoyed mostly fair seas over the pacific leg. The presence of a head current and lack of wind affect the arrival time. We need to increase fuel efficiency between here and Oahu. Arrival time estimate remains in the realm of our expectation, December 11-12.”

Ocean Spirit sets off for longest journey leg to Hawaii

After spending Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Ocean Spirit & crew prepare for their longest stretch of open water to Honolulu, were the vessel will go finishing touches before joining the rest of Pacific Whale Foundation’s fleet in Maui. Crew member Sierra DeRose writes the following about her experience.

“Coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life happened about 5 days ago….Jake woke me up at like 2am to show me dolphins that were darting around the boat like torpedoes lit up in the bio-luminescence! pretty freaking awesome!

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