Rapid Response Plan "Read entire blog"

Today was a perfect day in Maui Nui! Clear skies, no wind, calm waters, and we tried out our “Rapid Response Plan ” (RRP) protocol. RRP is designed to utilize the availability of PWF skiff docked in Ma’alaea Harbor to conduct non-invasive research by collecting opportunistic data on false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates). The goal for the Researchers is to be out the door and on the sea to quickly intercept the study species, should they come close to Ma’alaea. Here, our Research department benefits from being nestled within a large, multi-vessel operation, with many eyes on the lookout to relay information to us. Otherwise, for some marine mammals, such as false-killer whales, it would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming to trawl the seas to gather tiny bits of information. The trick thing is that the skiff is available from 9 AM to 1:30 PM and decision needs to be made to check realistic of response, such as weather, area the whales/dolphins spotted and overall time available. This morning we received a call from Daimar, a naturalist-researcher working on Ocean Explore, about 2-4 bottlenose dolphins close to Molokini Crater. The conditions were great and RRP team decided to go out and try to find the dolphins. Unfortunately, we lost our pod of bottlenose dolphins by Molokini crater. We’re still ironing out the particulars of petrol, timing, freaky weather, and predicting dolphin behavior to get a slick study protocol. On the positive side, we were ecstatic to get a rare at-sea observation of a Pueo, or Short-eared owl, en route from Haleakala to Molokini, or perhaps Kaho’olawe. A hui hou, Research Team



Jerald Werrimer (visitor) says:

Thank you for the article and pictures. I would love to be right there with you putting the rapid response plan in action. I hope you will elaborate on the data outcome as I find it all very interesting. Being a North American from the midwest, I honestly thought no one actually ever got to see a whale or dolphin unless it was at the zoo. Thanks again, I will checking back frequently.