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The Sanctuary Ocean Count project offers the community a chance to monitor humpback whales from the shores of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi. The count is held the last Saturday of January, February, and March (during peak whale season) of each year from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

To register as a volunteer for the 2017 Sanctuary Ocean Counts please e-mail 

Not only has this proven to be a fun volunteer activity for residents and visitors, but it also helps to provide important information on humpback whales around the Hawaiian Islands.

Both site leaders and general volunteers are needed for all islands.

Of course, the count cannot be done without the help of enthusiastic volunteers - we hope you'll consider taking part in this fun opportunity.

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Project Information
Learn more about the Sanctuary's signature project!

Project Results
Download results from the Sanctuary Ocean Project.

Don't miss this fun opportunity to count whales and record their behavior from the shorelines of Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi. Find out more today!

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Please support the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary's efforts to protect humpback whales and their habitat by purchasing a 2017 t-shirt, tank top or sweatshirt. [click picture to view large image]

[click picture to view large image]

This year’s shirts are being sold through Proceeds will benefit the Sanctuary Ocean Count Project. There are a variety of t-shirt styles and multiple colors to choose from!

Our t-shirt design was generously created by the talented Manu Farrarons

Manu is a tattoo artist specializing in Tahitian and Polynesian tattooing. Founder of the world-renowned tattoo shop Mana’o Tattoo Tahiti, he learned the craft from his father and has been tattooing professionally since 1991. After growing up and living in Tahiti his whole life, he relocated to Los Angeles where he works today. 

You can find him on

Here are the symbols that Manu incorporated into the design: 
  • On the whale's body there is a line of Hawaiian spearheads. This is a warrior symbol representing courage and fight. The remarkable recovery of this species from the brink of extinction is indicative of its survival instinct, and the courage of those who worked to end commercial whaling. We celebrate that humpback whales are now thriving in most of the world's oceans.
  • Just below spearheads is a line of peopletogether-- symbolizing a unity for the cause. This can relate to all our enthusiastic volunteers and friends who come out and participate in our Ocean Counts
  • In the pectoral fins are waves--representing the ocean and travel. This can relate to the whales migration patterns as they journey between feeding areas and breeding areas
  • The small triangles in the flukes and on the body are the shark teeth-symbolic of strength. Humpback whales are large magnificent creatures who may symbolize strength.
Mahalo nui to Manu Farrarons
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Oʻahu Sites
26 locations are currently available on the island of Oʻahu. Find directions and details on the sites.

Hawaiʻi Sites
21 locations are currently available on the island of Hawaiʻi. Find directions and details on the sites.

Kauaʻi Sites
15 locations are currently available on the island of Kauaʻi. Find directions and details on the sites.

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Site Leader Information
Ready to volunteer as a site leader? Find out what's involved. For current site leaders, check here for updated information.

Group Information
Find out more about how to register a group to take part in the Sanctuary Ocean Count.
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