Waikīkī Aquarium Seminar Series

Location and Time: Waikīkī Aquarium Classroom 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Waikīkī Aquarium Hosts Seminar Series presented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Land and Natural Resources

Whale Entanglement

November 26th: Catch and Release: Large Whale Entanglement Response in Hawai’i
Edward Lyman, Natural Resources Management Specialist/Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator
Edward Lyman, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator, has helped disentangle more than 100 whales and other marine animals over the past 23 years. Ed will describe the difficult and sometimes dangerous task of disentangling 40-ton, likely free-swimming, whales from life-threatening entanglements using techniques modified from those used to catch large fish, or used historically by whalers to kill whales. Case histories of some of the animals that have been freed by an authorized Network of responders in Hawai’i by showing some amazing video footage from pole and helmet-mounted cameras. Over the years, more than 20 large whales have been entirely or partially freed of entangling gear. The effort is coordinated by the Sanctuary, working under NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, and includes sanctuary partners and the on-water community. Successful disentanglements occur when a community-based network work closely with experienced responders, and help gain valuable information that will mitigate the threat and its broad impacts into the future.

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Past Events

Invasive Species Awareness Week

Join us in celebration of Invasive Species Awareness week with a seminar by Scott Godwin and Julie Kuo. They will discuss Marine Alien Species and how to prevent their introduction in Hawaii.

February 27th: Marine Alien Species in Hawai’i: An Overview
Scott Godwin, Biologist, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources
The topic of marine alien species is not as familiar to the public as issues for terrestrial systems in Hawai‘i. There has been a great deal of work focusing on the baseline data for alien species in the marine environment and these efforts are proving to support management actions throughout the archipelago. Beginning in the late 1990’s efforts were begun to determine what alien species are present, what where their transport vectors and then use this information to inform the scientific and resource management community. These baseline efforts showed the importance of non-traditional vectors associated with maritime commerce, such as vessel biofouling and marine debris, as opposed to a primary focus on ballast water. Continued efforts have shed light on the effects of these vectors on the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and how natural disasters, such as the 2011 Japan Tsunami, can have potential impacts on our archipelago. An overview of baseline research that has led to the development of management actions and policies will be presented.

February 27th: Preventing the Introduction and Transfer of Aquatic Alien Species in Hawai’i
Julie Kuo, Hawai’i Ballast Water & Hull Fouling Coordinator, Department of Land and Natural Resources in c/o with Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit
Aquatic invasive species have been known to carry potential environmental and socioeconomic implications like the cholera epidemic in South America that affected human health and invasive algae in Kaneohe Bay that affected many coral habitats. Currently, the Hawaiian Archipelago possesses nearly the equivalent number of established aquatic alien species as compared to all the states combined in the Continental US—approximately 400 (Hawaii) vs. 450 (Continental US) aquatic alien species. A recent study has indicated that the top two vectors of aquatic alien algae and invertebrate introductions into the State are associated with unmanaged ballast water discharge and vessel biofouling. This talk will summarize the proactive measures that DLNR is taking to minimize new aquatic alien introductions into the State as well as the transfer among neighboring islands.

Historic Hawai’i Foundation

March 13th: Shipwrecks and More: Learn about Hawai’i’s Underwater Cultural Heritage
Dr. Hans K. Van Tilburg, Maritime Heritage Coordinator of NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Dr. Hans Van Tilburg has recently completed a landmark study, The Unseen Landscape: Inventory and Assessment of Submerged Cultural Resources in Hawai’i, which highlights shipwrecks and submerged aircraft sites in Hawai’i. It’s the first comprehensive assessment of Hawai‘i’s underwater cultural heritage and many agencies and partners contributed to this important 3-year project including Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory [HURL], the University of Hawaii Marine Option Program [UH MOP], BOEM’s Pacific OCS regional office, Honua Consulting Inc., NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program, NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration, and the NOAA Diving Program. He will answer questions like: What are the resources?, How do they connect to our history?, What threats do they face?, What risks do they pose for ocean health?, and How do we share their stories in a larger, place-based context?