Humpback whales are synonymous with Maui thanks to their unusually large presence in surrounding waters. An estimated 10,000 whales flock towards the great reefs of Maui to calve every year, and are enjoyed by a great many more tourists to the area. humpback_whale_noaaThe animals have been recognized as an Endangered Species by the Conservation Act (ESCA) since 1970, but thanks to the hard work of conservationists and environmental activists, their population is steadily on the rise. All the same, Sail Maui consciously work to protect this beloved creature, and believe our customers should do the same.

Below, we list 10 fun facts about humpback whales:

    1. They are a type of baleen whale. The species also includes the blue whale, fin whale, Bryde’s whale, sei whale and minke whale.
    1. In this ecology, the women wear the boots! The average size of a female humpback whale measures 45-50 feet, compared to the average size of a male humpback whale, at 40-48 feet.
    1. The females may rule the roost, but the males are the romantic ones – it’s only their “whale song” that you’ll hear during mating season. And the sound is not something inherent in the humpback whale: there is strong evidence to suggest they learn the sound from other whales around them.
    1. Community is important to humpback whales; so much so that they stick with their own. The current humpback whale population is divided into 11 known stocks: two in the Pacific, two in the Atlantic, and seven in the Southern Hemisphere.
    1. Although numbers have increased in recent years due to conservation measures, the humpback population is still thought to be 30-35% of its original number. humpback_stellwagen_edit
    1. Whaling – the process of catching and killing whales for their skin – was banned in the 1930s and a world-wide protection order was issues in 1966. However, the Soviets continued to whale into the 1970s.
    1. The dorsal (upper) side features black and white skin, and is completely unique to each whale, like a finger print.
    1. On a normal day a whale will swim 3-9 miles per hour, but they’re not naturally slow coaches. If you catch them in a rush, you could see them reach up to 17 miles per hour when in danger.
    1. The acrobatics they display above sea level isn’t for our entertainment: they’re talking to one another. The flips, spins and dives they perform symbolize different messages.
  1. Humpback whales are a hungry lot: they consume 1.5 tonnes of fish every day!



gray humpback whale Maui



gray whale slide show in maui