DLNR Officers Host Weekend Outreach on Maui

March 26, 2010, 6:01 AM HST · Updated March 26, 6:01 AM
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Enforcement officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), will be at several locations on Maui this weekend helping to educate ocean users about humpback whales, monk seals, sea turtles, and other marine protected species.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

DOCARE officers along with staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Coast Guard will be at Mala boat ramp, Ma‘alaea harbor, Kihei boat ramp and Keone‘oi‘o (La Perouse) bay between 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday March 27 and Sunday March 28.

Randy Awo, the branch chief for the Maui division said federal grants allow the department to increase efforts during the annual migration of humpback whales and the opening of the bottomfish season.   The DOCARE officers are deputized to enforce fisheries and protected species laws in federal waters.

Information will also be available on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and bottom fishing rules.

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“We are looking forward to this opportunity to share information that allows the public to help protect our valued marine species, in partnership with NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson.

“This educational effort is made possible through a joint enforcement agreement between NOAA and DOCARE.  The Federal funding provided by the agreement allows DOCARE officers to increase their public awareness and enforcement efforts in areas of mutual responsibility with NOAA,” she said.

“One of the primary strategies of the Coast Guard’s Marine Protected Species program is to partner with other agencies involved in the preservation and recovery of marine protected species and eliminate redundancy, and this is a key example of how state and federal partners can work together and provide a valuable service to the public,” said Eric Roberts, U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Marine Protected Species program manager.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information courtesy DLNR)

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