POSTED: 06:24 p.m. HST, Feb 06, 2012
An advisory council recommends expanding the focus of Hawaii's humpback whale sanctuary.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary's advisory council said Monday the sanctuary should consider expanding its focus from humpback whales and their habitat to the ecosystem as a whole. That would include special management areas and vessel speed limits, along with increased collaboration with communities and government agencies.
The sanctuary was created by Congress in 1992 to protect humpback whales and their habitat. It's run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The sanctuary is undergoing a process to review, evaluate and update its management plan and will release a draft plan for public comment next year.