04/17/13 – Education Effort Aims To Improve Wildlife Viewing Experience For Public And Protect Hawaii’s Unique Marine Resources

Posted on Apr 17, 2013 in News Releases

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

 

NEIL ABERCROMBIE
GOVERNOR
WILLIAM J. AILA JR,
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate Release April 17, 2013

 

EDUCATION EFFORT AIMS TO IMPROVE WILDLIFE VIEWING EXPERIENCE
FOR PUBLIC AND PROTECT HAWAII’S UNIQUE MARINE RESOURCES

Three new PSAs encourage viewing marine wildlife from a distance

HONOLULU – In an effort to better educate visitors and residents about proper marine wildlife viewing, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), along with Honua Consulting and more than 20 community partners, has created a series of video public service announcements about Hawai`i’s marine resources.

“We recognize the need to be proactive in managing human-wildlife interactions in Hawai‘i,” explained William Aila, Chairman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources. “As part of the Governor’s New Day plan for better environmental stewardship, the more we can educate visitors and residents about proper wildlife viewing, the more we can keep both the public and marine animals safe.”

The videos also encourage the public to choose tour operators that keep their distance when viewing marine wildlife like spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, turtles, and humpback whales.

The PSAs are particularly important as incidents of both monk seal hookings and humpback whale ship strikes continue to occur. In the 2012-2013 whale season, there have been 10 confirmed whale-vessel contacts. In 2012 there were 17 confirmed monk seal hookings. This year, there have been 6 confirmed hookings so far.

The project, Respect Ocean and Aquatic Resources (ROAR) Hawai‘i, was funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. The videos, which were shot and produced locally by ‘Ōiwi TV, also feature the Hawaiian language. “Part of what makes the Hawaiian Islands such a unique and special destination is our rich natural environment and unique host culture,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “We are pleased to partner with DLNR and Honua Consulting to educate visitors and kama‘āina about the proper way to protect our ocean and marine life, while also highlighting the Hawaiian language.”

The videos can be viewed at the project website, http://roarhawaii.org/media/

If you would like hi-resolution copies of the PSAs for use and distribution please email roarhawaii@gmail.com.

ROAR Hawaii is a collection of information on Native Hawaiian ocean related practices and resources with the purpose of encouraging understanding and appreciation of our ocean through research, education, and culture.

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For more information news media may contact:

Deborah Ward
DLNR Public Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320