Hawaiians wonder, where are the whales?
Hawaiians wonder, where are the whales? A humpback whale leaps out of the water in the channel off the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
Hawaiians wonder, where are the whales?
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December usually marks the start of humpback whale season in Hawaii, but experts say the animals have been slow to return.
 
The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators. But officials at the Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary said they've been getting reports that the whales have been difficult to spot so far.
 
"This isn't a concern, but it's of interest. One theory was that something like this happened as whales increased. It's a product of their success," said Ed Lyman, a Maui-based resource protection manager and response coordinator for the sanctuary.
 
"What I'm seeing out there right now I would have expected a month ago," said Lyman, who was surprised by how few of the animals he saw while responding to a call about a distressed calf on Christmas Eve. "We've just seen a handful of whales."
 
It will be a while before officials have hard numbers because the annual whale counts don't take place until the last Saturday of January, February and March, according to former sanctuary co-manager Jeff Walters.
 
"They don't necessarily show up in the same place at the same time every year," Walters said.
 
More than 10,000 humpback whales make the winter journey from Alaska to the warm waters off Hawaii to mate and give birth.
 
Lyman said the whales' absence could just mean they're spending more time feeding in northern waters, possibly because of El Nino disruptions or because their population has gone up.
 
"With more animals, they're competing against each other for that food resource, and it takes an energy of reserve to make that long migration over 2,000 miles," he explained.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/hawaiians-wonder-where-are-whales/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What is the impact of late-arriving whales?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (45)
  • ShawnaWeiser-Ste
    1/16/2016 - 08:20 p.m.

    Whales, in my opinion, the most interesting animal. To think that they could be dying out makes me very upset. I hope that people start pulling their heads together and thinking of ideas to save these beautiful creatures.

  • kadenj-cam
    1/18/2016 - 04:48 a.m.

    I think humpback whales are really interesting so a lot of people want to see them. The people who want to see will come to Hawaii but if there is no whales then they will be disappointed. Also the guides will lose money because there will be less travelers will come to Hawaii.

  • noahi-fel
    2/04/2016 - 02:45 p.m.

    Because more people would come to see them and tourist companies would make more money

  • garretta-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:10 p.m.

    An impact of late-arriving whales is that money is lost from tourism.

  • coled-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:10 p.m.

    CTQ: An impact of the late-arriving whales is that some scientists will worry about what may be wrong with either the weather patterns or the whales themselves.

  • mattv-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:10 p.m.

    The late arriving whales could allow smaller species of fish to overrun the waters, like krill and shrimp.

  • ethanw-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:10 p.m.

    The impact of late arriving whales is that these whales are going to have to fight for food, and this ends up to starving to death.

  • lances-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:11 p.m.

    The impact of late arriving is loss of money for tourism.

  • lucasp-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:11 p.m.

    the impact of the late arriving whales is fighting for food and dieing

  • jacih-fel
    2/05/2016 - 02:12 p.m.

    The whales absence could just mean they're spending more time feeding in northern waters, possibly because their population has gone up.

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