Great Whale Count

The annual Great Whale Count brings volunteers together to count whales from shore as part of a long-term survey of humpback whales in Hawaii. This event provides a snapshot of trends in relative abundance of whales and is one of the world’s longest-running citizen scientist projects.

There are 12 survey sites along the shoreline of Maui, offering a chance to spend time at a favorite spot or to explore a new part of the island. Participants receive a brief training from a Site Leader in the morning and then spend half a day counting whales and observing behaviors during timed scans. Site Leaders record data from their volunteers throughout the event. Our research team tallies the results from all the sites and releases the numbers immediately following the count.

The Great Whale Count takes place during the annual Maui Whale Festival. Upcoming dates are Saturday, January 25, 2020, Saturday, February 29, 2020. Online registration for the Great Whale Count opens on December 15, 2019, and you must create an account on MyVolunteerPage to register for this event.

Buy a Great Whale Count t-shirt today!

Previous Great Whale Counts

· 2019 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2018 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2017 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2016 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2015 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2014 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2013 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2012 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2011 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2010 Great Whale Count Summary
· 2009 Great Whale Count Summary
· 1995-2013 Great Whale Count Summary


Our thoughts go out to all that are being impacted by COVID-19. With a team dedicated to our response to this pandemic, we are meeting regularly to ensure the continuation of programs and services that allow our mission work to continue.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s leadership team is closely monitoring updates from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19. We will continue to seek guidance from these agencies, public health officials and government agencies on an ongoing basis.

The role that our organization plays in keeping people connected for the sake of the environment is incredibly important in times like these. If we all take the proper precautions and continue to treat each other with kindness and care, we’ll get through this together.

How is PacWhale Eco-Adventures addressing COVID-19?

-Following guidance from Hawaii State and County officials, PacWhale is suspending Eco Tours and our Retail Store operations from March 20th – April 30th. 

- To support our employees, we are offering paid, temporary emergency sick leave, restricting all non-essential business travel, deep cleaning work areas, offering teleworking and flexible work schedules, and continuing to communicate updates and reinforce good hygiene practices.

How is Pacific Whale Foundation addressing COVID-19?

-Spring Break Ocean Camp has been cancelled.

-Keiki Whalewatches are being cancelled for the remainder of the season.

- Our marine research and conservation programs will continue to run without disruption.