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?
Lexile

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.  He is 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.  He said he 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. That is because the annual whale counts don't take place until the last Saturday of January, February and March.  This is 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.  There, they mate and give birth.
 
Lyman said the whales' absence could just mean they're spending more time feeding in northern waters. That's possibly because of El Nino disruptions. Or it may be 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.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 326 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What is the impact of late-arriving whales?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (103)
  • brendag-dic
    1/07/2016 - 06:13 p.m.

    I find this article really interesting! I think it's a great way to learn how these animals live.

    • sutts1-gau
      1/14/2016 - 01:53 p.m.

      well yes cause whales are vary interesting animals that live i the ocean ????

  • rorys-1-bar
    1/07/2016 - 06:36 p.m.

    The impact of the late-arriving whales causes decreasing tourest attaction. As the less attraction of tourest could mean Hawaii's economy could stutter. "The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators." The impact of the late-arriving could caused the faulting of Hawaii's economy.

    Opinion: I thought this article was very uniteresting as I have no interset about whales and what is happening to them.

  • simonak-3-bar
    1/07/2016 - 07:17 p.m.

    The impact of late-arivving whales is that they are "a source of income for tour operators." This means that tour operators are making less money from whale watching. This makes an impact of the tour operating companies.
    My opinion on this article is that I hope the whales are okay!

  • oliviam-6-bar
    1/07/2016 - 07:26 p.m.

    The late-arrival of the humpback wales has sparked interest among the island of Maui inHawaii. These wales usually migrate in December, but this year, they are coming later than usual. Some scientist say that the reason is "the whales' absence could just mean they're spending more time feeding in northern waters. That's possibly because of El Nino disruptions." Other scientists say" it may be because their population has gone up." Whatever the reason, we hope that the wales are not i

    Other scientists say" it may be because their population has gone up." Whatever the reason, we hope that the wales do not become endangered. One scientist says "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.

    Another impact of the late-arriving wales is tourism. With the wales coming too late in the season many wale watching businesses have suffered.

  • darianv-3-bar
    1/07/2016 - 08:01 p.m.

    Officials say that the humpback whales have been arriving late. The impact of the whales arriving late could be that the tourism counts will be going down because the main attraction is whale watching. when the author says, "The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators," he is saying that the whales are one of the main sight sees on the island.
    I think this article is pretty cool because I love animals and marine biology.

  • colek-1-bar
    1/07/2016 - 08:12 p.m.

    Since whales are arriving late to Hawaii, scientists are starting to become interested in how come. They started to make up theories on why they were turning up to Hawaii so late. A few scientists said that it had something to do with when "whales increased. It's a product of their success,"(paragraph 3) If whales were populating, this could be a major success. Even though the whales' absence is unusual, their absence could mean anything. The late-arriving whales is an interest to scientists and the impact of them being gone is beneficial more than negative. I found this article interesting and found that the whales being gone from the Hawaii sanctuary surprising.

  • ellans-1-bar
    1/07/2016 - 08:25 p.m.

    Humpback whales have arrived late to Hawaii this year. It states that, "The whales' absence could just mean they're spending more time feeding in northern waters. That's possibly because of El Nino disruptions." in paragraph 8. Also it might be their increase in population, so there is a higher chance of competition against other whales. This can affect the food intake of the whales. I think this article is interesting, because it explain how animals can be affected by weather, which then messing their regular routine.

  • aidano-1-bar
    1/07/2016 - 08:31 p.m.

    One impact on the late arrival of whales in the Hawaiian Islands is the amount of warm water on the west coast. "That's possibly because of El Nino disruptions" El Nino is cause Alaska to have warm water when it is usually cold. I found this article very interesting because I never knew that El Nino could affect all the way up to Alaska, let alone affect the Hawaiian whale population.

  • raymunda-4-bar
    1/07/2016 - 09:07 p.m.

    The impact of late-arriving whales is that their population could've increased, which when they come, they would cause turmoil because there wouldn't be enough food for them to eat. On paragraph 9, Associated Press stated that, "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." Also, the tourist from Hawaii would be gone because they are their for whale-watching, but they will be surprised to see nothing. On paragraph 2, they stated that, "The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators." This means that late-arriving whales would have lost some tourism, because it is a big part, and a fight for food, because of high population
    This article seemed interesting because I have been whale-watching in Hawaii before and It was amazing and glorious to see the whales there. Since they are gone, would be sad to be there without seeing those huge mammals. what shocked me the most is that they whales are arriving late. Usually, They come very early in December in great population.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT