Cetos Findings and Firsts

Cetos Research Findings: Surveys, Studies, & Environmental Work

Mother whale and calf

Cetos has performed 3 large vessel based monitoring surveys in Hawaii to date, executing the surveys from start to finish. This includes setting up all logistics for vessel charters, arranging teams of trained marine mammal observers (MMOs), writing and submitting study designs in advance, as well as the follow up after the survey with detailed reports some of which have led to peer reviewed publications, new findings, and protections for marine mammals. Our 3 offshore surveys were in offshore waters between Kauai and Niihau, between Maui and the Big Island (including rarely surveyed waters on the east side of the Big Island), and between Oahu and Molokai.

We are thrilled to have succeeded in numerous “first ever” findings including first time sightings of marine mammals in new areas, first baseline surveys, first sounds recorded, etc. Examples include:

  • First Minke whale spotted in coastal Hawaiian waters (Pacific Science, Vol. 61);
  • First verified Bryde’s whale sighting in nearshore, main Hawaiian Islands (Pacific Science, Vol. 64);
  • First verified Sei whales off Oahu and first subadults (Pacific Science, Vol. 64);
  • First photographic survey data on the Critically Endangered Vaquita via collaborations with Dr. Tom Jefferson;
  • First ever documentation of Humpback whale calf sounds (JASA Vol. 123);
  • First ever documentation of male – female behavior differences in Humpback whale calves (Aquatic Mammals Vol. 40);
  • First ever documentation of humpback whale nursing (Animals July 2017).

Aerial Searcher