DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
LAURA H. THIELEN, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
DLNR, NOAA Workshops
HONOLULU -- The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, is holding statewide workshops starting November 8 to educate boaters on safe, considerate and lawful vessel operation during humpback whale season.
“We want to invite our boating community to attend these workshops,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson. “No matter what kind of vessel you operate, these workshops are a great opportunity to learn about the latest collision avoidance guidelines and recommendations.”
As many as 10,000 humpback whales will be in Hawaiian waters this winter whale season. The 45-ton Humpbacks delight whale-watching enthusiasts, but they also pose safety risks to boaters and other ocean users.
These workshops, which are offered every year at the start of humpback whale season, will help vessel operators learn what they can do to reduce their chances of being involved in such an incident.
The schedule of workshops is:
Thursday, Nov 8 Kaua‘i –Waimea West Kaua‘i Visitor and Technology Center
Thursday, Nov. 8 Kaua‘i – DOT, Harbors Division Conference Room, 3242 Wa‘apa Road, Lihu‘e,
Wednesday, Nov. 14 O‘ahu - Kapolei Hale, Conference Room A, 1000 Ulu‘ohi‘a St., 5:30-7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 15 Kona - Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 20 Maui - Maui Ocean Center, 192 Ma‘alaea Rd. Wailuku 5:30 – 7 p.m.
At each workshop, Ed Lyman, the marine mammal response coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and a licensed captain, will present a new map of whale densities across the state, give tips on how to spot whales at sea, and go over detailed guidelines for safe, enjoyable and lawful boat-based whale-watching excursions.
The workshops will also cover what boaters can do to assist in responding to entangled whales. There were at least seven entangled whales reported in Hawai‘i last year, and with support form a growing response network, NOAA and DLNR successfully freed four whales from life-threatening entanglements.
The workshops will brief boaters on how to safely and effectively play a role in reporting and tracking entangled whales, providing an essential contribution to Ed Lyman and other NOAA-trained whale rescuers.
The workshops are free and are open to commercial and recreational boat operators.
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For more information, contact: