Whale Trust Maui’s celebration of its mammalian friends, Whale Tales 2015, wrapped up on Feb. 16 with 75 whale watchers aboard the Maui Princess, the flagship of the Hawaii Ocean Project fleet. Noted speaker and marine mammal photographer Flip Nicklin hosted the whale watch.
Nicklin is part of the Whale Trust organization, headed by Dr. Meagan Jones-Gray and Dr. Jim Darling. Whale Trust is one of the recipients of research money raised by Hawaii Ocean Project which is the conservation division of the Lahaina Cruise Company. The funds raised and donations collected by the project go to their “100% Research Direct” program to support respected, genuine researchers.
Other direct research recipients of the Hawaii Ocean Project this year include Dr. Joe Mobley of University of Hawaii at Manoa; Jill Mickelsen of Hawaii Whale Research Foundation; Mark and Debbie Ferrari of The Center for Whale Studies and Dr. Robin W. Baird of Cascadia Research Collective.
“We have an immediate need for our community to support legitimate and peer reviewed research on Hawaii’s whales, dolphins, and marine ecosystem,” said Hawaii Ocean Project Captain Dave H. Jung.
The organization presented researchers with $6,000 check; the money was generated last whale season by Hawaii Ocean Project’s memberships, direct guest donations, and on-board retail and snack sales from their boats Kaulana, Maui Princess, and Lahaina Princess.
For info about HOP research programs, boat tours, donations and memberships visit their website http://www.HawaiiOceanProject.com
Photo: Cornelia Oedekoven/NOAA/Wikimedia Commons