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Hawaiian Melon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) Mass Stranding Event of July 3-4, 2004

April 01, 2006

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-31

On July 3-4, 2004, between 150-200 melon–headed whales (Peponocephala electra) occupied the shallow waters of Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i for over 28 hours. Attendees of a canoe blessing observed the animals entering the Bay in a single wave formation at 0700 hrs1 (local time) on July 3, 2004. The animals were observed moving back into shore from the mouth of the Bay at 0900 hrs. The usually pelagic animals milled in the shallow confined bay and were returned to deeper water with human assistance. The animals were herded out of the Bay with the help of members of the community, the Hanalei Canoe Club, local and federal employees, and volunteers/staff with the Hawaiian Islands Stranding Response Group beginning at 0930 on July 4, 2004 and were out of visual sight by 1030 hrs. 

Last updated by Office of Protected Resources on 11/09/2021

Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program