We were fortunate to be in Hawaii during the peak whale season (Jan-Mar) and went on a whale watching trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation, a non profit organisation which conducts research into whale conservation and raises money partly by offering whale watch eco tours.
Marine debris, whaling and collisions with large fast vessels are the main threats to whales which reduced humpback whale populations to 30-40,000 which is only a third of their original numbers.
Thanks to the whaling ban and the efforts of conservation projects and awareness programmes numbers have been steadily increasing and humpbacks are coming off the endangered species list.
Humpback whales swim approximately 3,000 miles from Alaska each year to spend an average of 2 weeks breeding in the warmer waters of Hawaii. They start arriving in November.
We were lucky to see at least 30 humpback whale sightings during our 2 hour trip. Individual whales can be identified by the markings on their tail fins.