Hawaii team finds many humpback whales with boat strike scarring

Hawaii team finds many humpback whales with boat strike scarring
(Image: Marine Mammal Research Program)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A team of scientists using drones off Maui to catalog humpback whales in Hawaiian waters for the winter say they found “many” animals with evidence of boat strikes.

A number of whales also showed evidence of entanglements.

The concerning news comes as the researchers wrap up a three-month project to record humpback whales in Hawaii waters during the winter.

The same team was able to capture images of a whale calf just minutes after birth.

(Image: Marine Mammal Research Program)
(Image: Marine Mammal Research Program)

The scientists were studying the “bioenergetic demands” of humpback whales that migrate from foraging grounds off Alaska to Hawaiian waters each winter.

The researchers used drones to capture images of whales from above and assess their body condition, including their size. Some 125 drone flights were conducted, and about 300 whales were measured.

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