Public Testimony (Continued)

Opposed: Georgia Aquarium Application to Import 18 Beluga Whales (File No. 17324) 10/12/12

On June 15, 2012, The Georgia Aquarium submitted an application for a Marine Mammal Protection Act Permit.  The application requested authorization to import 18 beluga whales from the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station in Russia to the U.S. for the purpose of public display.  The animals were previously captured from the Russian Sea of Okhotsk.  Pacific Whale Foundation adamently opposes the capture and captivity of any marine mammal for public display purposes.  We believe that the public display of marine mammals is not necessary to engage people, and instead provides the public with a false picture of the animal's natural lives.   On August 5, 2013 the Federal government denied Georgia's Aquarium's permit application

Comments: Removing Hawaii's green sea turtle from the Endangered Species List 9/28/12

In June 2012, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC) petitioned the Federal government to delist the Hawai'i population of the green sea turtle from the Endangered Species List.  AHCC maintains that the increase in nesting female abundance over the past 30 years warrants delisting.  Pacific Whale Foundation, however, notes that while the number of nesting females has increased, this number does not meet stated recovery goals.  Furthermore, threats to sea turtles in the Hawaiian Islands have not been eliminated.  Pacific Whale Foundation asks the Federal government to carefully and prudently consider the petition's request in relation to the best available science and the definition of a "recovered" population. 

Letter of Concern: California Coastal Commission permitting of PG&E seismic testing along California coastline 9/25/2012

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) requested a Coastal Commission permit to begin a series of high-energy surveys along 130 miles of ocean in order to better understand the fault lines and seismic safety of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.  The surveys were to be conducted by a 235-foot vessel towing a 1/4-mile-wide array of submerged, 250-decibel air cannons that would discharge every 15 seconds, night and day, for 17 days.  Environmentalists, including Pacific Whale Foundation, argued that the environmental impact of the surveys (including injury and/or disruption of thousands of marine mammals including whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters) greatly outweighed the survey benefits.  In November 2012, the California Coastal Commission denied PG&E the permit.  

Letter of Concern: Shoreline hardening along Maui's Ukumehame Beach Park 8/14/2012

Honoapi'ilani Highway serves as the main artery into and out of Maui's West Side. Due to large, summer south swells and short-sighted planning, however, certain shoreline portions of the highway are severely threatened by coastal erosion.  This undermining of the highway prompted Hawai'i Governor Neil Abercrombie to approve shoreline armoring along the Ukumehame portion of the highway under the tsunami disaster declaration.  This action was exempt from environmental monitoring, and resulted in severe sedimentation of the reef directly adjacent to the hardening project.  Pacific Whale Foundation advocates for sustainable coastal planning that considers the environmental impact of projects, which was not the case with the Ukumehame shoreline project.  The State should be aware of the environmental impact of its actions.  

Opposed: Olowalu Town Development - County of Maui, General Plan Committee 7/23/2012

Olowalu Reef is one of the largest and healthies reefs on the island of Maui.  Located on Maui's west side (south of Lahaina), Olowalu supports a manta ray cleaning station, serves as a black tip reef shark nursery, provides shoreline protection to the coast and is responsible for seeding reefs as along west Maui, Lana'i and Molokai.  A proposed, large-scale development on the hills above Olowalu reef will threaten the reef's health and the important functions that it provides.
Pacific Whale Foundation's Research Director Daniela Maldini, Ph.D. testified at a hearing in Honolulu on January 20, 2011 in support of adding the Hawai'i insular population of false killer whales to the U.S. Endangered Species list.