New Council Members Appointed for Humpback Whale Sanctuary

October 19, 2019, 8:31 AM HST (Updated October 19, 2019, 7:37 AM)
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A mother humpback whale supports her calf in the warm waters of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. PC: J. Moore/NOAA, under NOAA permit #15240

The NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary has appointed four new primary members and one alternate member to serve on its advisory council.

The new council members are:

  • Malia Akutagawa – Moloka‘i Island Representative primary;
  • Roxane Keliʻikipikāneokolohaka – Native Hawaiian primary;
  • James Kelleher – Commercial Shipping primary;
  • Greg Nielson – Tourism primary;
  • Shoko Takamura – Ocean Recreation alternate.
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Established in 1996, the council is a community-based body providing recommendations on current program and management strategies to staff members of the sanctuary.

All council members are volunteers who represent various local user groups, as well as the general public. Primary and alternate council advisory members serve three year terms and meet three times each year in public sessions.

Administered by a partnership of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai‘i through the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), the sanctuary works to protect humpback whales through research, education, conservation and stewardship.

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