NOAA to hold statewide boater workshops - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

NOAA to hold statewide boater workshops

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With the start of humpback whale season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold a series of free public workshops throughout the state to educate boaters about safe boating practices around endangered whales.

Officials from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will share guidelines for safe and legal whale watching, tips on avoiding dangerous contact with whales while boating, new humpback whale research, and maps of humpback whale distribution around the Hawaiian Islands.

Humpback whale season in Hawaii runs from November through May.  As many as 10,000 whales visit Hawaiian waters every year.  They congregate in ocean waters less than 600 feet deep and are frequently encountered at or near a the surface.

The 45-ton mammals can also pose safety hazards to mariners.  Dangerous vessel-whale collisions occur every year in Hawaii.   Boaters who sail too close to whales are also at risk when the animals surface, breach or slap their massive tails.

The sanctuary urges boaters to be extra cautious on the water during whale season.

The first workshop begins on November 6 at the Maui Ocean Center in Maalea, Maui.

For a complete list of workshop schedule, click on the Hawaiiain Island's humpback whale link on this page.

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