MAALAEA, Hawaii — The Pacific Whale Foundation’s research team spotted the first whale of the season on Wednesday in waters off of Maalaea on Maui, according to a news release. 

The research team identified the whale as “NP_2376,” an adult male more commonly known as “bubble-netter.” The same whale was last spotted in waters near Southeast Alaska on Aug. 19.  

Whale season in Hawaii usually runs from November through April. Every year, as many as 10,000 humpback whales travel from Alaska, British Columbia and eastern Russia to gather around the Hawaiian Islands to breed, give birth and raise their young calves. Mothers and calves tend to gather between Maui, Molokai and Lanai where in the shallow, protected waters. 

Michelle Broder Van Dyke covers the Hawaiian Islands for Spectrum News Hawaii. Email her at