Posted on February 23, 2015
On February 15, 2015 biologists from Cascadia Research Collective spotted two fin whales just south of the Pacific Missile Range Facility's instrumented underwater range. The whales were identified by their large size, dorsal fin shape, and asymmetrical jaw coloration (black/white). Pacific Fleet-funded monitoring using underwater passive acoustic recorders suggests that fin whales are in the area in the winter and spring months but are likely in low numbers. This was Cascadia's first-ever sighting of fin whales off this island and only their second sighting of this species in 15 years of working in Hawaiian waters. Cascadia is working on spatial movement patterns and habitat use of marine mammal species found in the Hawaii Range Complex as part of the Navy's Marine Species Monitoring Program. Visit Cascadia for more information on their field project off Kaua'i.