[MARMAM] New publication on vessel collisions with humpback whales in Hawaiian waters

Adam Pack pack at hawaii.edu
Sun Dec 15 11:27:32 PST 2013

Aloha Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce the publication of our paper documenting
historical trends in vessel collisions with humpback whales in Hawaiian
waters.  The full reference and abstract appear below.  The paper has been
published online and may be downloaded as a pdf at the following link

For further inquiries, please feel free to contact Marc Lammers at
lammers at hawaii.edu or Adam Pack at pack at hawaii.edu.

Lammers, M.O., Pack, A. A, Lyman, E. G. & Espiritu, L. (2013).  Trends in
collisions between vessels and North Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera
novaeangliae) in Hawaiian waters (1975-2011).  Journal of Cetacean Research
and Management,13 (1) 73-80.

Injury from collisions with vessels is a growing threat worldwide for many
species of whales. Thirty seven years of historical records were examined for
evidence of vessel collisions with humpback whales in the main Hawaiian
Islands. Between 1975 and 2011, 68 collisions between vessels and

whales were reported including 59 witnessed collisions and 9 observed whale
injuries that were consistent with a recent vessel collision. No
collisions were
immediately lethal. The waters between Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe,
which are known to have one of the highest concentrations of

humpback whales in the Hawaiian Islands, had the highest incidence of
collisions. Over 63% of the collisions involved calves and subadults,
a greater susceptability towards collisions among younger animals. The rate
of collisions increased significantly over the final twelve breeding
seasons of the study and was greater than predicted by the estimated annual
increase in the whale population, suggesting that the rising number of
reported collisions cannot be explained solely by the annual increase in
whale abundance. Although the total number of registered vessels and
shipping traffic in Hawaii remained relatively constant between 2000 and
2010, there was a significant increase in the number of vessels between
7.9m and 19.8m in length. Vessels within this size range were also the most
commonly involved in collisions during the study period, accounting for
approximately two thirds of recorded incidents. It is concluded that from
1975–2011, there was a significant increase in reports of

non-lethal collisions between vessels and humpback whales, especially
calves and subadults, in the main Hawaiian Islands that likely
reflects a combination
of factors including the recovery of the population of North Pacific
humpback whales, increases in traffic of particular vessel types,

and increased reporting practices by operators of vessels.

Best regards and happy holidays,

Adam Pack

Adam A. Pack, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Departments of Psychology and Biology
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
200 West Kawili Street
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720
(Office Voice): 808-933-0827
(Email): pack at hawaii.edu

"Do or do not; there is no try." Yoda
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