Working together: Partnerships and collaborations play a key role in Whale Trust’s efforts to support, promote and conduct scientific research on whales and the ocean environment.
Well known for migrating across entire ocean basins, whales have a natural way of bringing people together! For the last several years, Whale Trust has partnered with colleagues across the Pacific Ocean to monitor and track similarities and differences in humpback whale song.
As part of this Whale Trust sponsored project, humpback whale songs were simultaneously recorded from the Philippines, Mexico, Japan, and Maui (by our research team). Our partners for this project include Jo Marie Acabes (Balyena Organization), Jorge Urban (Laguna San Iganacio Ecoystem Science Program), Oscar Frey (Deep Blue Conservancy) and Manami Yamaguchi from Ogaswara.
In the first stage of this study published in 2014, we found that, as predicted, the songs recorded in the closer regions of Japan the Philippines were far more similar to each other than to the more distant samples recorded in Hawaii. Analysis for the next phase of this ongoing project should be completed by 2017.
For the past two years, we have begun developing a new partnership with Dr. Leah Gerber from Arizona State University and the Global Institute of Sustainability to develop a new program to support the field studies of undergraduate and graduate students. Our current student is a Ph.D. candidate at ASU, Yaiyr Astudillo-Scalia, who is working with our research team to determine if hormones can be reliably measured in the blubber of free-ranging humpback whales.
Joining Forces for Whale Research and Education
Each year, Whale Trust brings together researchers throughout Hawaii and beyond to share their latest findings with the public at our annual community event, Whale Tales. Through this event, over the last ten years, Whale Trust has helped raise over $500,000 to support whale research in Hawaii.
Watching Whales to Support Research
Over the last ten years, many of the Maui based whale watching companies have come together to help Whale Trust raise money to support whale research on Maui. Our whale watch partners include Captain Steve’s Rafting Adventures, Gemini Sailing Charters, Hawaii Ocean Rafting, Hawaii Ocean Project, Lahaina Cruises, Maui Adventure Cruises, The Jayhawk – Powered by Adventure Quinn, Trilogy Excursions, and Ultimate Whale Watch.