LIHU’E – Free marine wildlife identification posters handed out on Saturday are part of the statewide celebration, Hoi Kohola, which is once again welcoming whales.
It is only fitting that the kohola, or the humpback whale, is featured on the double-sided big cattle poster that identifies much of the marine life found in Hawaiian waters.
The posters were distributed at four locations around the island and were made available to families and individuals, although the Kaua’i Ocean Discovery has remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Posters were distributed to buyers of the Kukui Grove Center as long as volunteers were available outside the Kaua’i Ocean Discovery. Once closed, the posters were forwarded to Deja Vu Surf Hawai’i for continued distribution.
Additionally, two public libraries – the Princeville Public Library and the Hanapepe Public Library – which have opening hours on Saturdays had posters available for their patrons on Saturday.
For those who missed out on the initial giveaway, the posters will be available at all public libraries starting today, while supplies last.
“What makes this poster valuable is that wildlife illustrator Roger Hall included the three names of each of the identified creatures,” said a spokesperson for the Hawaiian Islands National Humpback Whale Sanctuary who coordinates distribution of the poster. “Previous versions of the poster included some of the creatures with Hawaiian names, some with common names and all with scientific names. This new version has all the creatures with three names, the scientific name, the common name, and the Hawaiian name.
The functionality also benefits partner public libraries.
“The state library system is putting a strain on ‘olelo Hawai’i,” said Mindy Gipson, branch manager of the Hanapepe public library. “Eventually, much of the library’s offering will be available in Hawaiian.”
Jean Souza, education specialist at the Hawaiian Islands National Humpback Whale Sanctuary, said the Hawaiian archipelago provides important breeding, calving and nursery habitat for humpback whales in the North Pacific during the winter and spring months.
Kaua’i tour operators have previously reported sightings in Kaua’i waters, and the sanctuary encourages people to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations available to protect these marine mammals while they are here in Hawaiian waters.