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November 2008

From the Editor...

 

Rochelle delaCruz

from the editor…

Nets, Whales and Honu

Sometimes the planets align, which is what happened this month. Since the first whales of the season were recently reported off Maui, I thought that would make a good lead story because not only do whales migrate to the Hawaiian Islands during the winter months, so do many of us humans. And then Leona Lueders, our favorite writer on all things Hawaiian, sent in a report and photos from her friends on Molokai who found honu nests. Honu are endangered and their nests must be given great care and consideration, which is what the Kaakimaka and Mott families did. The humpback whales are also endangered, so together, this made a good pairing to remind readers of the fragility of Hawai`i’s ecosystem which often gets trampled – by carelessness but sometimes because of enthusiasm. We hear of kayakers and swimmers who want to “commune” with nature, endangering themselves and the animals when they approach, unaware – for example – that mother whales and monk seals (another Hawaiian endangered species) should be left alone especially when caring for their calves. When we ask beachgoers to keep their dogs off the beach, it isn’t because we don’t like dogs; it’s because Hawaiian beaches are a precious resource and not simply a playground.

And then Carey Morishige of NOAA sent in a story on the efforts being made to gather derelict fishing nets to recycle into energy. This was the perfect way to bring our stories together. Abandoned nets floating out in the ocean are a hazard to all sea creatures. Not only do whales, honu, seals and other animals get entangled in them, they can also harm coral beds, and all efforts to collect them are soundly applauded!

So if it seems like we’re focusing on the environment this month, it’s because we are. Of course we know that the really BIG story is the upcoming election, but Kermet is keeping us on task with that one. Stay tuned and a hui hou! ~RdC

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