Categorized | Environment

Education effort aims to improve wildlife viewing experience

MEDIA RELEASE

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

“We recognize the need to be proactive in managing human-wildlife interactions in Hawaii,” said 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 six confirmed hookings so far.

The project, Respect Ocean and Aquatic Resources (ROAR) Hawaii, was funded by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The videos, which were shot and produced locally by Oiwi 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 Hawaii Tourism Authority. “We are pleased to partner with DLNR and Honua Consulting to educate visitors and kamaaina about the proper way to protect our ocean and marine life, while also highlighting the Hawaiian language.”

To view the videos, visit: roarhawaii.org/media/

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