- Sustainable Fisheries
- About Sustainable Fisheries
- Fishery Management
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- International Fisheries
- About International Fisheries
- Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)
- South Pacific Tuna Treaty (SPTT)
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- Protected Resources
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- Hawaiian Monk Seals
- Whales and Dolphins
- Sea Turtles
- Species of Concern
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- Protected Resources Outreach and Education
- Volunteer Opportunities
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Protected Resources Volunteer Opportunities
Everyone in a community shares in the responsibility of managing and protecting our resources for future generations. The Protected Resources Division encourages public involvement by offering the following volunteer opportunities.
Malama Na Honu Foundation
Laniakea Beach, located a few miles north of Haleiwa on Oahu's North Shore, is well known for its pristine sandy cove and premium surf break. Within the past ten years, Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu) have appeared close to shore, actively feeding on the abundant green algae that grows there. In 1999, the honu began hauling out onto the beach in the sandy cove to bask ashore. Word traveled quickly and soon tour buses, local residents and island visitors were stopping at Laniakea to see the turtles sleeping on the beach and calmly swimming and feeding inches from the shoreline.
Unfortunately, some of the beachgoers were not respectful to the honu, choosing instead to sit, ride and even feed the turtles. During the summer of 2005, the increasing interaction between the honu and humans prompted George Balazs, leader of the Marine Turtle Research Program for the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, to create a campaign called Show Turtles Aloha. Local community members stepped up to help and began volunteering their time to educate and inform residents and visitors about respectful turtle viewing at Laniakea. Previously a NOAA volunteer program, this group is now an independent non-profit called the "Malama Na Honu Foundation."
Currently a team of over 50 volunteers routinely assist NOAA's Pacific Island Regional Office (PIRO) and Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) in monk seal response issues. Volunteers assist with the following:
- Responding to seals to haul out to rest and providing a "seal protection zone" to protect them from disturbance.
- Providing public passersby with information about the Hawaiian monk seal and its endangered status.
- Monitoring monk seal pupping events.
- Reporting animals in distress (due to hooking, entanglement or otherwise) and standing by until help arrives.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team Oahu (HMSRTO) or would like more information about the program, please visit their website: http://HMSRTO.org
Kauai Monk Seal Conservation Hui
The Kauai Monk Seal Conservation Hui is a volunteer based project with assistance from state, federal and private organizations. Volunteers are trained to assist with the following:
- Reporting, monitoring and protection of Kauai's Hawaiian monk seals.
- Kauai monk seal pupping events.
- Providing outreach and education to stakeholders, visitors and the general public.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Hui or would like more information, please contact:
3060 Eiwa St., Room 306
Lihue, HI 96766
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Since 1989, volunteers have assisted biologists at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in monitoring, protecting, and collecting baseline data on nesting hawksbill turtles. The endangered hawksbill turtle is very rare in Hawaii and throughout the world. Volunteers are needed on the Island of Hawaii to monitor sea turtle nests, assist with research activities on adult sea turtles, record field data, as well as provide outreach to the local community.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Hawksbill Turtle Project or would like more information, please contact:
Island of Hawaii Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project Coordinator
Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit - Hawksbill Turtle Project
Resources Management Division
P.O. Box 52
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718