Maui News

Large Whale Entanglement Response, Free Talk by Ed Lyman

June 25, 2019, 11:02 AM HST
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The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council hosts a free talk about freeing large whales from ropes, nets and other life-threatening entanglements.

The presentation, titled, “Catch and Release: Large Whale Entanglement Response,” is offered by Natural Resources Management Specialist, Edward Lyman on Tuesday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m. at The Sphere at Maui Ocean Center. The event free and is open to the public.

Blough – NOAA/HIHWNMS / MMHSRP (Permit # 18786)

The presentation will include video footage from pole- and helmet-mounted cameras showing some of the whale rescues in Hawaiʻi by the network of responders that are authorized to assist with such entanglements.

Seating is limited, so reservations (free of charge) are recommended and can be arranged online.

Lyman, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Natural Resources Management Specialist, has responded more than 120 times to calls to free large whales and other marine animals from entangling gear over the past 25 years, resulting in more than 50 large whales being freed.


“For over 17 years the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, working with NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program and the on-water community, has led a successful community-based network of experienced responders to free large whales, like the humpback whales found seasonally around Hawaiʻi, from life-threatening entanglements,” said Lyman. “As a result, the sanctuary and its partners have removed gear from more than 30 large whales and gained a wealth of information to mitigate the threat and its broad impacts.”


During his presentation, Lyman will describe the difficult and sometimes dangerous task of disentangling 40-ton, likely free-swimming whales, using techniques modified from those employed to catch large fish or used historically by whalers to kill the animals.

The talk will be part of the July monthly meeting of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, a nonprofit organization working for healthy coral reefs and clean ocean water.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and the talk begins promptly at 5:30 p.m.


“We are grateful to Maui Ocean Center for generously donating the use of The Sphere for this presentation,” said Amy Hodges, Programs Manager at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “We are also very thankful to Ed Lyman for making time to give this talk during a holiday week celebrating ʻlife, liberty and the pursuit of happinessʻ — important for whales as well as people.”

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