View the full film HERE

This 20-minute PWF film created by Selket Kaufman documents the journey of humpback whales as they migrate between Alaska and Hawai‘i and the efforts of the Pacific Whale Foundation to save them from extinction. In the face of emerging threats, the organization employs research, education, and conservation methods as it races against time to restore and sustain the delicate balance between humankind and marine life.

View PWF’s 2020 documentary, A Voice for WhalesHERE.

About us

With a mission to protect the ocean through science and advocacy, and to inspire environmental stewardship, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) conducts Research, Education and Conservation programs for the communities in which it serves. Founded in 1980 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the world’s whales from extinction, PWF now solely owns a social enterprise that offers fee-based programs and services through PacWhale Eco-Adventures to help support its nonprofit work. Combined with memberships, donations, charitable grants and a remarkable group of dedicated volunteers, PWF now reaches more than 400,000 individuals each year through its Maui and Australia offices and research projects in Ecuador and Chile.

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What makes us the experts

As leaders in the development of responsible whale watching, Pacific Whale Foundation has been acutely aware of the ever-changing nature of the relationship between humans and marine mammals and has developed a broad, holistic approach to marine tourism.

For the past 40 years, our researchers have conducted studies and collected data to better understand marine life and how to best protect it. All PacWhale Eco-Adventures* ecotours are led by a Certified Marine Naturalist, who holds a degree in marine sciences or a related subject and goes through an extensive training program covering the culmination of this research, as well as vessel operations and Hawaiian culture.

Through our efforts, millions of people have learned about whales and other marine life, like dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, and the endangered Hawaiian population of false killer whales. We take pride in knowing that we have been at the forefront of educating the public, from a scientific perspective, about marine life and the world in which they live.

These are just a few of the ways our operations help fulfill our mission to protect the ocean and inspire environmental stewardship

Research conducted in HawaiiEcuadorAustralia and Chile

*Forward-looking nonprofits are recognizing that it’s impractical and risky to rely solely on donations and grants to fund their work. More and more nonprofits are entering into businesses to fund their mission.

PWF was an early pioneer in this area. Early on, we found that we could fulfill part of our mission — to educate the public about whales and the ocean — by offering ecotours. At the same time, these ecotours could help fund our work and introduce our organization to potential supporters.

PWF fully owns PacWhale Eco-Adventures. It is the sole shareholder and owner. PWF owns all of its assets (boats, computers, equipment, etc.) All of the profits generated by PacWhale Eco-Adventures are retained by PWF and used to further its mission, making PacWhale Eco-Adventures a social enterprise.


As a global organization, we continue to support inclusion and equality in all our endeavors while expecting the same from our members, partners and allies. We stand in solidarity against racism, discrimination and prejudice of any kind, and we are deeply committed to implementing and advancing policies, processes and practices that align with our values of diversity and transparency.

In our position as an international thought leader, we hold ourselves accountable to decisive action on behalf of our employees and supporters to identify and combat unconscious bias while nurturing an inclusive environment for all.


Greg Kaufman, Founder of Pacific Whale Foundation, passed away on Saturday, February 10, 2018 after a hard fought battle with cancer.

We share our sympathies with his family and with his extended ‘ohana of members, supporters and friends around the world.
We hope you will join us in celebrating his life, his work, and his inspiring vision that continues to guide Pacific Whale Foundation.

Please share your thoughts and memories and photos on our Blog or Facebook page or email directly to selket@pacificwhale.org  As always, mahalo for your continued support.

Please consider donating to our foundation so we can continue to employ Maui residents and conduct vital Research, Education and Conservation programs to protect the ocean and its inhabitants.

Disaster Response Funds

Hawaii Visitor Update

Aloha, We Are Open!  Our PacWhale Eco-Adventures are open for booking as we welcome visitors back to Maui.  Quarantine restrictions were lifted on Oct. 15th for those following the state’s pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements.