Whale Sanctuary Seeks New Advisers

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - January 06, 2010
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advisory council of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary needs new members, and applications are due by Jan. 31 to the sanctuary’s Hawaii Kai headquarters.

Eight primary seats, eight alternate seats and one new, non-voting student seat (ages 14-17) are open to represent Native Hawaiians, Hawaii’s counties, and the fishing, education and research communities. The voluntary group is a conduit between public and sanctuary management,and members serve two-year terms.They must personally attend three meetings yearly and may have other phone and video conferences.


The council works with the Army Corps of Engineers,U.S. Navy and Coast Guard,WESPAC and others, and observes humpback whale populations in the North Pacific.

“The numbers are small,” pointed out council president Bill Friedl.“They could be in danger of further decline. We continue to hold the dialogue and track this process.” They also seek to protect Hawaiian monk seals, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, etc.

Sanctuary superintendent Naomi McIntosh said the council helps the sanctuary connect to communities in Hawaii by keeping management informed of current issues. With the new student member,they hope to improve community links as well, she said.“The interest and enthusiasm of youths is what will provide the connection to the future generation of ocean stewards and leaders.”

“They will either clean up after our mess or continue programs that we start,“Friedl added.

From the applicant pool, McIntosh recommends the best candidates to NOAA and the state.

The next meeting is set for Feb. 8 in the sanctuary conference room. For details, call Joe Paulin at 397-2651, or log onto http://www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

Applications should be sent to Paulin at 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy., Suite 301, Honolulu, HI 96825. The office is on the third floor in the same building as Roy’s Restaurant.

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