Upcoming workshop focused on science and conservation of dolphins and other toothed whales in Hawaiian waters

October 31, 2011

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On Saturday, November 26, a workshop on the science and conservation of dolphins and other toothed whales (the group of cetaceans known as odontocetes) that occur in Hawaiian waters will be held at the Tampa Convention Center, in Tampa, Florida as part of the 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals.

The purpose of the workshop on "Science and Conservation of Hawaiian Odontocetes" is to bring together scientists, managers and other interested parties involved with odontocete research, conservation and management in Hawaiian waters to discuss current scientific findings, planned research, and management strategies. Although focused geographically on Hawai'i, the workshop will be relevant to researchers and managers working in other island ecosystems and to those studying tropical odontocetes throughout the world. The workshop will involve a number of invited speakers, contributed talks and posters, and discussion periods.

At least 18 species of odontocetes are found in Hawaiian waters, with many represented by populations resident to the islands. In the last 10 years there have been significant gains in the understand of Hawaiian odontocete population structure, abundance, and behavior, providing great new insight into tropical odontocete populations and the unique role of the dynamic ecosystem surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, from the Island of Hawai'i to Kure Atoll. The increase in understanding and attention to Hawai'i's odontocete populations has benefited from, and also encouraged, an increase in the number of investigators studying Hawaiian odontocetes, with a concurrent increase in the number of species being studied and the diversity of approaches used. Much of this research has highlighted the susceptibility of Hawai'i's odontocetes to threats from human activities, including fisheries interactions, exposure to high-intensity underwater sounds, vessel and swimmer interactions, competition for prey, and exposure to contaminants. The research has also provided essential scientific information to managers seeking to ensure conservation of these marine mammals. In recent years a number of management measures have been proposed to mitigate impacts from human activities.

The workshop is co-organized by Robin Baird of Cascadia Research Collective and Erin Oleson of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. A registration fee will be collected from workshop attendees to cover the cost of morning and afternoon refreshments. To register, please visit the Conference website at this link:

Click here to visit the Conference website.

For more information contact Robin Baird at rwbaird@cascadiaresearch.org or Erin Oleson at erin.oleson@noaa.gov.