Whale watching has become popular in the waters of the Zamami Islands, the group of land outcroppings that can be seen in the western horizon from Naha Port. As more people have come to observe the gentle giants, the Zamami Village government last year formed a Whale Watching Society, headed by Mayor Seitaro Miyazato, in order to set policies regarding peaceful observation and tourism promotion.
The aquarium section personnel at Expo Memorial Park and the World Wide Fund for Nature, Japan Committee have independently carried out research on the whales for a few years. Sightings by both groups then totaled fifty-two whales off the Zamami Islands, with some of the great mammals making a repeat visit this year.
Highschool students from mainland Japan have made study tours to observe the whales, and they enjoy the surprise when the whales surface and spout water from their blowholes.