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.  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.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/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 (103)
  • samuelr-2-bar
    1/07/2016 - 09:46 p.m.

    The impact of the whales arriving late is less tourism. In the article it states that "The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators" meaning tour operators make money from the whales. This is because tour operators can charge tourists for whale watching expeditions. The problem is that because the whales are coming late tour guides can't make as much money which could possibly lead to a downfall in the Hawaiian economy. In conclusion, the impact of the whales arriving late is less tourism.

  • sebastianr-6-bar
    1/07/2016 - 10:10 p.m.

    The impact of late-arriving whales is that whales are a source of income for tour operators, so if there aren't whales then they don get paid. I wonder what the real one hundred percent reason of their absence is. Also I think it is interesting that so many whales got towards Hawaii when they can go almost anywhere else.

  • madelinew-1-bar
    1/08/2016 - 01:10 a.m.

    The whales arriving late can affect the tour guides. Yearly, they take people out to see the beautiful whales. If the whales aren't there, they don't get as much money. This is shown in paragraph 2, which states that the whales are "a source of income for tour operators."
    I found this article interesting. I love Hawaii and the whales that spend parts of the year there. The fact that they're not there yet makes me wonder why.

  • briannt-3-bar
    1/08/2016 - 01:26 a.m.

    The impact of late-arriving whales in Hawaii is that it could ,"...possibly {be the} El Nino disruptions. Or it may be because their population has gone up", said Lyman (paragraph 8). Also, the more whales,"...they're competing against each other for that food resource. That long journey from Alaska to Hawaii would probably take a lot of energy, "...over 2,000 miles", said Lyman. I choose this articles because my mothers side of the family is from one of the Hawaiian islands, Molokai. Even if my parent are divorced and my mother lives on one of the Hawaiian islands with her new family, doesn't mean I don't care where the other part of me is from.

  • brookem-1-bar
    1/08/2016 - 02:13 a.m.

    There is an impact on Kate arriving whales, "The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a source of income for tour operators." The business is making less revenue then it planned. It will probably cause a decrease in the economy. Without the revenue there will be no taxes, and those taxes fund the city.

    I chose this article because I thought it was interesting.

  • erinw1-str
    1/08/2016 - 10:38 a.m.

    That they got held back

  • waverlyb-612-
    1/08/2016 - 10:44 a.m.

    The impact of the whales late-arrival could bring down the bussnies for sight seeing in Hawaii and could cuase the whale count to be off at the end of January.

  • alexisy-612-
    1/08/2016 - 10:54 a.m.

    The impact of whales arriving late, is the fact that tourists that were planning on going to see the whales in Hawaii may not go because they heard that whales were hard to spot. If they don't go, then the people running tours for the tourists won't get the money that they need to keep their business going, which would take away their source of money.

  • josiec-1-bar
    1/08/2016 - 11:12 a.m.

    The impact of the late arriving whales are that the weather patterns of, "El Nino." This caused the whales not to be able to travel to the warm Hawaiian waters to mate and give birth to there children. My opinion is that El Niño will cause the whales to stay away from the Hawaiian Islands and then they will come back when the storm passes.

  • markm-3-bar
    1/08/2016 - 12:06 p.m.

    The impact of the late arriving whales is either that the population is increasing or El Niño is disrupting them. The late arrival isnt concerning scientists because of both of these reasons. It could be a bad thing but they don't want to think that.

    I chose this article because the migration of the huge animals always interested me.

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