Pacific Whale Foundation researchers first spotted elusive False Killer Whale #073 on January 9, 2000, traveling and feeding on mahi mahi with a pod of 20 individuals in the shallow warm waters between Maui and Lana‘i. This area is called the Au‘au Channel, which in Hawaiian means “to take a bath.” PWF’s Research team sighted Hoihoi again on August 28, 2012, traveling through the Maui Nui area. During an encounter on March 15, 2019 the team was able to successfully launch a drone and collect valuable body condition and body measurements data of the animals. The most recent sighting of Hoihoi occurred on November 17, 2020, when PWF researchers responded to reports of false killer whales in the area and were able to find the group and collect data as they traveled quickly through the area. Every sighting of Hoihoi is valuable for PWF’s ongoing research that aims to help protect this endangered population.
NMFS Research Permit #21321