Humpback Whale Awareness Month – February 2022

We observe Humpback Whale Awareness Month in February in honor of humpback whales, which are an integral part of our marine ecosystem. Brought into commemoration by the governor of Hawaii in 2008, the month is observed to celebrate the homecoming of humpback whales on the shores of Hawaii. Surviving decades of human cruelty, the tale of humpback recuperation and rehabilitation is one for the times. Step out in the sea if you can, or turn up a documentary on the subject, as we dedicate the month to these majestic mammals.

History of Humpback Whale Awareness Month

Humpback whales have roamed the deep spheres of the ocean for millions of years. A species of the ‘baleen whales,’ these large-bodied mammals are unlike their counterparts. Friendly, non-invasive, smart, and highly vocal. Humpback whales share a contentious history with humans, involving decades of extreme hunting which reduced the total whale population by 95% in 1985.

The International Whaling Commission, which was established in 1946 to regulate the development of whaling stock, stepped in to put a complete pause of any whaling activity in all shared waters. The 1985 moratorium bore fruitful results, as the restoration and rehabilitation of the humpback whales began in full force soon after. Today, humpback whales have exceeded their original population in many areas of the world.

The month of February opens the whale-watching season of Hawaii in full swing. To commemorate this special occasion, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle designated the month of February as Humpback Whale Awareness Month on February 8, 2008. Ocean stewardship is the shared responsibility of every generation that inherits the earth. There are many things that we can do to protect marine wildlife, which includes fighting against the captivity of whales and ethical whale-watching.

Humpback Whale Awareness Month celebrates the homecoming of humpbacks to the shores of Hawaii. The central goal of the observation is to raise awareness about the need for public involvement in the protection of marine life. The month sparks a special celebration at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to the safety of humpback whales.

Humpback Whale Awareness Month timeline

1970
The Decade of Endangerment

The U.S. lists humpback whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act.

1982
The Whale Moratorium

The International Whaling Commission votes to pause commercial whaling for 10 years.

1988
The Fruits of Conservation

Humpback whales recover from the deadly decade of hunting and begin the process of rehabilitation.

2008
The Declaration

Hawaii Governor, Linda Lingle declares February as Humpback Whale Awareness Month.

Humpback Whale Awareness Month FAQs

Are humpback whales friendly to humans?

Humpback whales are typically non-violent and do not approach humans with aggression. They are aware of their surroundings and avoid any direct contact with humans.

Are humpback whales an endangered species?

Humpback whales are no longer an endangered species. After decades of awareness campaigns and international protection laws, their situation has finally stabilized and their population is increasing. 

Why do humpback whales sing?

Humpback whales communicate through loud, melodious songs which can last up to 20 minutes. They use repetitive vocalizations to locate food, find mates, and communicate with their peers. Additionally, they also sing to navigate new places and familiarize themselves with the locals.

How to Observe Humpback Whale Awareness Month

  1. Spread awareness about marine conservation

    Hand out pamphlets with information regarding the humpback conservation efforts of I.W.C. You can also hold presentations regarding the critical need for global attention to the cause. Additionally, you can share the ways in which all of us can be better companions to our aquatic friends.

  2. Book a kayak ride

    Don’t let the month of these majestic mammals pass by without taking full advantage of it. Take the opportunity of a lifetime and go whale watching while riding a kayak. Don’t worry! Humpback whales are incredibly smart and maintain a safe distance from humans. You’ll be safe and exhilarated.

  3. Throw an aqua-themed party

    We know you miss the holidays and need a reason to celebrate. Well, Hump — ‘ Back’ whales have your back. Ha! Bring the jello shots and shark attacks, as we honor our aqua friends and raise a glass to your safety and prosperity.

5 Interesting Facts About Humpback Whales That’ll Warm Your Heart

  1. Travel freaks at heart

    Humpback whales travel more than 4,900 miles in open water, from their breeding grounds to colder areas in hunting season.

  2. United they stand

    Humpback whales hunt in groups with a unique method called bubble-net feeding.

  3. A whale watcher’s first choice

    Humpback whales are incredibly playful, as they are the most acrobatic of all whales.

  4. The toothless wonders of the sea

    Humpback whales have baleen plates instead of teeth — instead of taking a bite, they swallow their food whole.

  5. The smartest of the bunch

    Humpback whales are incredibly smart; they teach the skill of singing and communicating to their offspring.

Why Humpback Whale Awareness Month is Important

  1. Humpback whales still need our attention

    The recovery of humpback whales is one of the miraculous stories of conservation. With timely action and international cooperation, whales have been able to recover from the threat of extinction. However, commercial hunting is still prevalent, and whales remain under threat. In the month of February, we come together and raise our voices for our humpback friends.

  2. Humpback whales are playful and fun

    Humpback whales are friendly and love the open waters. They are the prime choice of whale watchers and marine tourists. And their songs are interesting and mysterious. Humpback Whale Awareness Month illustrates the beauty and might of these acrobats.

  3. Humpback whales encourage tourism

    Humpback whales are found in every ocean, with a special concentration at the Antarctic shore. The prime spots of whale sighting make for great tourism hubs. And February is a great month for whale sightings in the southern areas of Mexico, Chile, and Australia.

Humpback Whale Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2022February 1Tuesday
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday

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