Only a single gray whale has ever been documented in Hawaiian waters, an individual seen off Kona, Hawai’i Island, two days in a row in February 2022. This sighting is a great example of the value of community science – the first sighting was documented from a dive boat, the second from a whale watching boat. Photos (extracted from video) were compared with several gray whale catalogs, but no matches were found. The individual was a juvenile, so the likelihood of being in any catalogs at the time the matching was undertaken is relatively small, but going forward there is a chance it may be matched to one of the existing gray whale catalogs. We published a note on these sightings (see below) – if you would like a copy please contact Robin Baird (rwbaird “at” cascadiaresearch “dot” org)
Baird, R.W., J. James, C. Mata, and M. Hughes. 2022. Two gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) sightings off Hawai‘i Island: the first records for the central tropical Pacific. Aquatic Mammals 48(5):432-435. https://doi.org/10.1578/AM/48.5.2022.432
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Updated May 2023.