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
All photos are copyrighted and should not be used without permission.
Updated May 2023.
Got photos? We have photo-ID catalogs for several Hawaiian cetacean species! If you have photos that you would be willing to share, you can learn how to submit those to us at this link, or contact us at Hawaii@cascadiaresearch.org