How to help protect Maui’s humpback whales

Posted by Staff Writer on Monday, December 16th, 2019 at 3:40pm

The U.S. doesn’t consider most humpbacks endangered species since they’ve rebounded from the threat of extinction after decades of whaling. But they’re still in need of our help. Today, humpback whales and other marine life face a slew of other threats, including climate change, unsustainable fishing, plastic contamination and noise pollution. Here are a few ways you can help support the whales who migrate to Maui, as well as humpbacks across the globe:

  • Adequate rest is critically important to mothers and calves, so if you’re in the water with them, be especially mindful of the noise you might produce. Don’t approach them while resting; and similarly, avoid their line of travel. All ocean users are barred from approaching humpback whales within 100 yards. If you notice someone who you think might be violating that federal law, call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s enforcement hotline at 1-800-853-1964.

  • Do your part to combat climate change. Rising ocean temperatures can reduce or change whales’ food supplies. And, oil and gas development, which fuels greenhouse gases, can also lead to ocean pollution and create harmful noise in whales’ habitats. 

  • Avoid plastic, which can end up in the bellies of whales, dolphins, fish and all sorts of other sea creatures. Invest in reusable bags and other replacements for single-use plastic.

  • Support sustainable fishing. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch provides handy printable guides so you can support fishermen and companies that care about the health of our oceans. Visit: Seafoodwatch.org

  • Financially support the organizations that protect humpback whales, such as the Keiki Kohola Project, which works to research and conserve the humpback populations around Maui and Lana’i; national organizations such as Whale and Dolphin Conservation USA; and the international Natural Resources Defense Council.

 

 

 

 

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