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> Humpback whale successfully freed from gear
  HWF's Cheryl King assists in effort
Feb 21, 2015 - (KHON News) - A humpback whale spotted off Kona last week has been successfully freed of life-threatening gauge line. But it wasn’t easy for the rescue team of 11 to catch the 45-feet long marine mammal out in the open ocean.
   A pole equipped with a flying cutter knife makes one last cut to free the whale. (Photo: E. Lyman – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP)The entangled whale was first spotted on Feb. 13, heading up the Hamakua coastline 45 miles northwest of Hilo. Due to lack of standby support, the remote location and poor weather and sea conditions, officials could not immediately respond.
   After multiple sightings from shoreside observers and tour vessels, members of the West Hawaii Marine Mammal Response Network located and tagged the whale and assessed his condition.
   Experts learned the whale had at least five wraps of heavy gauge line around and partially embedded in its tail, with hundreds of feet of line trailing behind him. He appeared to be in moderate to fair health.
   "What we ended up doing was using an old whaling technique, go back to 1800s, the heyday of whaling, they threw harpoons at whales, not to kill them but to slow them down and stop them," said Ed Lyman, the marine mammal response manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Read entire article and watch video at KHON News

> Ka-Ching!
  Ige Nominates Castle & Cooke PR Head to Lead DLNR
Jan 26, 2015 - Governor David Ige has nominated Carleton Ching, Castle & Cooke Hawaii's Vice President of Community and Government Relationships, to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources. But the nomination, only announced last Friday night, has already spawned joint opposition from a broad coalition of groups ranging from the Sierra Club to community associations, and an anti-Ching online petition that has garnered over 5,000 signatures.
   "Stewardship of Hawaii's unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of State government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources," Ige said in his announcement of the nomination. Ige noted that "early on" in Ching’s career, "he spent a decade with the Hawaii Housing Authority where he specialized in building affordable homes. From his time at the Authority he is best known for his role in facilitating a resolution to the contentious conflict between the Waihole-Waikane Community Association and the state."
  Ching's account on LinkedIn lists his skills as "Marketing, real estate, first time home buyers, investment properties, residential homes, public relations and budgets." But it makes no mention of any skills related to public service, land management or conservation practices—an omission that over 18 organizations latched onto in a joint statement blasting the nomination, noting that "He has no demonstrated expertise in managing the cultural and natural resources that fall under the department's purview, including but not limited to endangered species, iwi, ceded land, water resources, forests, beaches, coral reefs, fishing and hunting resources, historic sites, and state parks."
   The statement was endorsed concurrently by Sierra Club, The Outdoor Circle, Conservation Council for Hawaii, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, Life of the Land, Friends of Lana'i, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Earthjustice, Defend O'ahu Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hui Ho'omalu I Ka 'Aina, Kupa'a No Lan'‘i, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka 'Aina), Maui Tomorrow, Puna Pono Alliance, Wailua-Kapa'a Neighborhood Association, West Maui Preservation Association, and 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition. > Read more

> HWF donors raise $5K for monk seal hospital
  A Place of Healing: Celebrating the Opening of Ke Kai Ola
Sick and injured Hawaiian monk seals will get a second chance at survival thanks to The Marine Mammal Center's new Hawaiian monk seal hospital, Ke Kai Ola © The Marine Mammal Center(The Healing Sea), which is dedicated to the rescue and care of this critically endangered species.
   On September 2, HWF President Hannah Bernard and Megan Lamson, HWF’s Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Recovery Team Coordinator, attended the Center Grand Opening celebration and blessing at the $3.2 million facility, which includes two pens and pools for monk seal pups and two larger pools for juvenile seals, as well as a medical lab, offices, food prep kitchen and education pavilion. > Read more

> Fish Facts: The problem with plastic
  Most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind
PLASTIC is the predominant type of man made debris found in today's rivers and oceans, with between 60 and 80 percent of all marine debris today comprised of petroleum-based plastics.
   This is despite the fact that plastic pollution is only a relatively recent phenomenum. Rafts of floating plastic at sea began to be reported in the scientific literature in the early 1970s but in the 40 years since, the problem has reached the far corners of the global oceans. Sure, the most obvious visible plastic pollution is inshore, such as those rafts of flotsam seen on our beaches and intertidal areas after flood events. However, recent science is showing this is only the tip of the iceberg and most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind.
 > Read entire article at FishingWorld.com

> Species of new coral seen off South Kona coast
January 30, 2014 - West Hawaii Today
A research team with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources has discovered off the South Kona coast a species of coral new to the main Hawaiian Islands.
   In a release issued Wednesday, the DLNR reported that team members came across a large number of coral colonies they had never encountered before while doing reconnaissance scuba dives in April along the South Kona coast.

Species of coral new to Hawaii seen off South Kona coast
HWF's project coordinator Megan Lamson, who also works as a technician with Division of Aquatic Resources, was one of the scientific divers that discovered this new Acropora species.
   "These robust finger-like colonies didn't even look like they were related to any other corals in the vicinity of the main islands," the release stated.
   The team returned the next day to photograph and document the colonies, and tentatively identified the species as Acropora gemmifera.
   The species is common in shallow, tropical reef environments in the Red Sea, Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the central and western Pacific, but there are few records from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It can be found, however, at Johnston Atoll, approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.
   The colonies vary in color from tan and brown to green, blue and purple, according to the release. "Not only is this the first record of A. gemmifera in the main Hawaiian Islands, it's the first record of any Acropora species occurring around the island of Hawaii," the release reads.
 > Read entire article at West Hawaii Today
 > Related journal article (pdf)

> Report hooked Hawaiian monk seals
  Maui TV News 'talks story' about efforts to help seals
   May 8, 2013 - Maui TV News

Maui TV News video on recent efforts to help Hawaiian monk seals.
Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Group Hotline: 888-256-9840

> Law & Order: Endangered Species Unit
  Monk Seal killings could be retaliation to conservation efforts
   May 12, 2013 - New York Times

Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo: Peter Bohler for The New York Times

> Preserving Hawaii's False Killer Whales
  Action is being taken to preserve a rare Hawaiian creature

   September 2010 - Honolulu-Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine

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