East Hawaii News

NOAA Awards $1.2M to Support False Killer Whales

September 25, 2015, 4:06 PM HST
* Updated October 5, 7:51 AM
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Nearly $1.2 million dollars was awarded by the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in partnership with Cascadia Research Collective and Hawai’i Pacific University, to support conservation and recovery of Hawai’i’s endangered false killer whales.

Money from the grant will be used to support tagging research on the movements and habitat use of false killer whales. The grant will also be used to examine the potential overlap of the species with state fisheries.

Cascadia Research Collective conducted work in June that included tagging three false killer whales. The whales are a part of a rate social group that will be one of the focuses of the grant.

Outreach work will be another focus of the grant. The DLNR expects to build on the successful outreach work that is being conducted with shoreline fisherman to reduce interactions with monk seals and sea turtles.

“With this new funding, the DLNR will now be able to partner with boat-based fishermen who may be sighting and interacting with false killer whales, in order to collect new data and develop new ways to reduce harmful interactions that may be occurring,” said DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case.

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According to DLNR officials, the grant is also expected to be used to support stranding investigations of false killer whales, sperm whales, and humpback whales.

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The money awarded is part of NOAA Fisheries Species Recovery Grants for 2015. DLNR will also be supported through the 2015 award to conduct monk seal and sea turtle outreach efforts, including the successful Barbless Circle Hook Project, in partnership with NOAA Fisheries.

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