Catch and Release: 20 Years of Freeing Entangled Whales in Hawai‘i Waters

Free at last! An adult humpback whale breaches after entangling gear has been cut loose. Photo courtesy NOAA MMHSRP

Matinée Presentation:

Entanglement in gear is a major human-caused source of serious injury and mortality for many marine mammals, including the humpback whales that breed, give birth, and nurse their young in sanctuary and surrounding waters around the Hawaiian Islands.  Edward Lyman acts as the Regional Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.  He has helped free more than 100 whales and other marine animals, in Hawai‘i, Alaska, and along the east coast of the U.S., from life-threatening entanglements.  Today only, Ed describes the difficult and often dangerous task of disentangling a 40-ton, likely free-swimming whale using historic whaling techniques to “catch” the animals (modified to help save them)—hence the term “catch and release.”  These techniques are also illustrated in dramatic—and in some cases, never-before-seen—footage filmed from helmet pole and drone-mounted cameras.  

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Seating is limited; first come, first seated.  

E komo mai!