By Edward Johnson
Again a day late and a dollar short!! One way or another we have submitted our support for the listing of Hawaiian false killer whales to NOAA. At the bottom of this post you will find a quick and easy petition signing document. By all means add you name, post hast Tuesday is the last day.
Below you will find a copy of my more complete support for the issue but am not even sure that letter has reached the proper location. My daughter and I have both experienced extreme difficulties when attempting to use their process when attempting to make a comment. In this submission, first ran out of time (limit 20 minutes) then after requesting additional time, which I did, never received verification following punching submit bottom. Would be interested in finding if others experienced same problem.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 [Docket No. 0912161432-91436-01] RIN 0648-XT37
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Insular Population of Hawaiian False Killer Whales as an Endangered Species
ACTION: 90-day petition finding; request for information.
RE: Arguments for listing the False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens)
To Whom it May Concern,
As a concerned citizen and planetary representative of our marine mammal brethren, in this case the False Killer Whale population found around and near the Hawaiian Islands, I endorse this listing. Having spent a great deal of time reviewing at least a portion of the relevant documents, this decision is long past due. Since the original studies were undertaken approaching nearly a decade ago, and found a definite need for this listing, politics aside action is needed post hast!
In an article that was published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology July 2007 authored by Susan J. Chivers, Robin W. Baird and others: Genetic variation and evidence for population structure in eastern North Pacific false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens). “Phylogeographic concordance in the distribution… cannot be identified until we better understand the distribution and ecology of false killer whales.” The above finding abstract makes a rather compelling argument for this listing.
I was further impressed by the strong augments which demonstrated the truth to the above quote which used tracking data to clearly establish: 1) Their strict isolation to the area and habitat surrounding the Hawaii Island complex. 2) Graphic demonstration of how members of this genetically unique population interact with one another to the exclusion of other nearby but genetically separate subspecies of False Killer Whales.
Your own agency has documented the rapidly declining numbers, apparently no more than 150 remain in the total population, meaning well less than 75 females are left to sustain the population. The NMFS 230-page report concluding that the population stands “at a high risk of extinction.”
Finally the associated Hawaiian fishery has created and additional burden on this species as has the species burdened the fishermen. Based on past listing efforts, certain benefits can be obtained for affected parties, False Killer Whale and Island fishermen.
Getting False Killer Whales on the endangered species list is of huge importance. I can see how they have come to be almost wiped out. Mahi is a Hawaiian fish that is shipped all over the world. Surely, there is motivation for the corporate ruled fishing to keep this fun looking creature off of the endangered species list. It is a shame that the United States agency NOAA is so slow to protect the false killer whales.