NOAA seeks community input on Big Island, Maui bay closures to protect dolphins

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is hosting a virtual meeting Thursday, Dec. 9, to discuss and receive community input on its proposal to close select ocean areas to protect Hawaiian spinner dolphins.

The meeting will take place from 5 to 8 p.m., and those interested can register here. People can also participate by phone by dialing US Toll +1-415-527- 5035 and entering access code: 276 477 10691.

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According to NOAA, this proposal would close portions of five different bays between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the Big Island and Maui.

Here is a list of bays that would be partially closed in certain areas:

  • Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii Island
  • Hōnaunau Bay, Hawaii Island
  • Kauhakō Bay, Hawaii Island
  • Makako Bay, Hawaii Island
  • La Perouse Bay, Maui

Hawaiian spinner dolphins use areas near the shore for resting, nurturing their young and sheltering from predators, NOAA stated. These closures would prevent the disturbance and harassment of these dolphins as they perform their necessary daytime habits.

The public is also able to submit their input online here or via mail to Kevin Brindock, Deputy
Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

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For more information, click here. Those who would like to comment must do so by Monday, Dec. 27.

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