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    February 2016
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Whales Sighted at Entrance to Pearl Harbor

On Sunday morning, phone lines in Hawaii buzzed with the news that whales were at the Pearl Harbor entrance.  Joint Base’s Port Operations and Harbor Patrol teams kept Navy vessels at a respectful distance, protecting what turned out to be a cow/calf pair – a mom humpback whale and her calf.

 Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

“These whales continue to be protected under both the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts,” reminds Navy Region Hawaii Environmental Counsel Rebecca Hommon. “Some of these animals winter in Hawaii, mate, give birth and then head back to colder waters such as those off of Alaska to feed during the summer months.”

Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

Photos by Master at Arms Second Class Jadira Viera (Feb. 28, 2016)

As soon as the whales were observed, the Navy notified the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Marine Mammal Response staff.

NOAA’s David Schofield advised that “It’s probably a normal situation of a mother whale bringing her calf in close to shore.” NOAA officials expressed appreciation for the Navy’s immediate response and knowledge that these marine mammals require a certain stand-off and slow boat traffic.

Whales in Pearl Harbor 3“Humpback whales continue to be protected under the Endangered Species, Marine Mammal Protection, and  National Marine Sanctuaries Acts.  It is unlawful to approach this marine mammal species by any means within 100 yards (90 m) and to operate any aircraft within 1,000 feet (300 m).  If you see a marine mammal in distress (beached, entangled, or otherwise injured) please report the sighting immediately to Pacific Islands Region Marine Mammal Stranding & Entanglement Hotline 888-256-9840.”

One Response

  1. Meanwhile the U.S. Navy abuses these creatures with the continued sonar blasting, all while acknowledging it’s destructive effect on cetaceans.
    What hypocrisy!

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