Subject: Species and Locations of Whales in Hawaii

Phil Colla (
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 13:54:26 -0800

>    We are interested in the location around the Hawaiian islands to which 
> the whales migrate . Also what time of the year can they be found in
>Hawaiian waters. Which species have been sited off Hawaii?

Of the "great" whales,
humpbacks are the whales that are most often seen in the Hawaiian islands.

They begin arriving from Alaska in December and January, and begin returning
to Alaska in March and April.  They are distributed throughout the islands,
although the greatest concentrations are in a) the
four island basin and b) Turtle Banks, an open ocean area off Molokai.
Many are seen around the big island (Hawaii) and Kauai as well.

We have also sighted Northern Right Whales in Hawaii, although this is very
rare.  More commonly, we sight:

  False killer whales (pseudorca)
  Pacific spotted dolphin
  Hawaiian spinner dolphin
  Bottlenose dolphin
  Pilot whales

Sperm whales are seen occasionally, as are various beaked whales
and melon-headed whales, and perhaps blue and fin whales.

Phil Colla

Phil Colla,
Humpback Whales: