A community meeting is planned about a proposed habitat protection area for False Killer Whales in the state.
There are three distinct populations of False Killer Whales in Hawaii: Insular, Pelagic, and Northwestern.
The insular population resides around the main islands, and is genetically unique from other False Killer Whales. It’s estimated there are 150 of these whales are left, and their population is expected to decline.
That’s why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a critical habitat zone around the state to help protect this group.
The proposed zone would affect areas around the main Hawaiian Islands ranging from 45 to 3,200 meters in depth.
Jean Higgins is with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Protected Resources Division.
She says the designation would affect federal activities.
Higgins says the recreational activities around the main Hawaiian Islands will not be affected by this designation.
The meeting is being held next Thursday, December 7th at 6:30 PM on the fifth floor of the Japanese Cultural Center in Honolulu.
The public can comment on the proposed designation until January 2nd.
More information can be found here: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_mhi_false_killer_whale.html#critical_habitat