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Field Report – Hawaii

Seeing Some Familiar Fins

Field Report - Hawaii

The PWF research team recently had a great encounter with a pod of bottlenose dolphins that were hunting fish. Back in the office, we used the bottlenose dolphin photo-identification catalog to reveal some interesting information about the group. As it turns out, this pod contained an adoption animal (#095, “Pa‘ani”), our oldest cataloged animal (#005),…

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Sightings of baby spinner and spotted dolphins

Field Report - Hawaii

Recently the research team set out towards the island of Lanaʻi to continue our odontocete and marine debris surveys. Around 9:30 am, we came across a pod of approximately 100 spinner dolphins, including five calves. Even better, two of the calves were neonates: newborn dolphins! A spinner dolphin neonate…

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Underwater Footage of Whales and Dolphins Interacting

Field Report - Hawaii

If two animals share the same environment, then at some point they are likely to meet. In the wild these meetings are often between predator and prey; however, nature isn’t always so cruel. Some such encounters, referred to as “interspecies interactions,” can be playful or social, where neither individual is threatened. The research team was…

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Double Take: False Killer Whales and Pilot Whales in the Same Day

Field Report - Hawaii

When the research team carries out odontocete transects, we are looking for all species of toothed whales, but most commonly we see bottlenose, spotted and spinner dolphins. On rare occasions we see false killer whales, of which the insular Hawaiian population is on the endangered species list, and short-finned pilot whales, which is a deeper…

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Coral Reef Survey

Field Report - HawaiiResearch

Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) was recently contacted by WHALE Environmental Services LLC and asked if we were interested in a collaboration, as this Oahu-based company was planning to undertake a pilot project to survey the West Maui coral reefs. PWF was very keen to take part, and…

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Mother-Calf Dolphin Resight

Field Report - Hawaii

On August 12, the research team went out on the water surveying for odontocetes and marine debris. At around 11 am, we sighted a pod of 17 bottlenose dolphins and began taking photographs, as per our protocol. We spent the maximum allowed hour with this pod, giving our interns a chance to try their photo-identification skills…

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Dolphin in Ma’alaea Harbor

Field Report - Hawaii

The research team did not have to go far on July 3rd to spot a dolphin. There was one swimming around Ma’alaea Harbor! It looked like a sub-adult, meaning it was not fully grown. We photographed it following our protocol, and this week searched for a match within our bottlenose dolphin catalog, but this individual…

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Every Day is Oceans Day

Field Report - Hawaii

During the summer months, the research team continues our year-round dolphin surveys and marine debris study. Last year after six months of surveys, we had 35 encounters with dolphins and collected 430 pieces of debris (e.g. plastic, Styrofoam, cardboard). That’s 12 pieces of marine debris for every dolphin sighting! Even more disturbing is that while surface…

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June 22 Dolphin Survey

Field Report - Hawaii

Over the past month, the research team has spent most of its time in the office. Very windy weather conditions have prohibited us from doing odontocete (toothed whale) surveys, as it is very challenging to spot dolphins if there are whitecaps on the water. However, we finally had a break this past weekend and spent two days…

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2013-2014 Whale Season Summary

Field Report - Hawaii

We just finished a wonderful milestone – the first time that the research department completed systematic transect surveys on our research vessel Ocean Protector throughout the entire whale season (December – April). We were hampered by some windy weather in April but overall it was a successful season. January and February had the most whale…

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