Maui News

Humpback Whale Sanctuary Appoints New Advisory Members

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary announced four new primary members and one alternate member to serve on its advisory council.

NOAA administrators say the new appointees bring a valuable range of experience to the council, a community-based body that provides sanctuary staff with input and recommendations on sanctuary programs and management.

The newly appointed advisory 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

Established in 1996, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council provides advice and recommendations on managing and protecting the sanctuary.


Serving in a volunteer capacity, the council members represent a variety of local user groups, as well as the general public. Sanctuary advisory council primary and alternate members serve three year terms and meet three times per year in public sessions.

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


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