MAʻALAEA, MAUI, HI – Whale shark sightings have been reported throughout the Hawaiian Islands, but very little is known about these slow-moving, filter-feeding giant fish. It’s unknown how many individual whale sharks frequent Hawaii’s waters, where they are coming from or going to, and where they are most frequently seen.
The nonprofit Hawai’i Unchartered Research Collective (HURC) is working to fill in gaps about whale sharks through research and investigations of local and global threats to these mysterious animals. Learn what HURC is discovering about Hawaii’s whale sharks at a free Zoom presentation by Maria Harvey, Director and Chief Research of HURC on Wednesday, August 3 at 5:30 pm. The presentation is free, but preregistration is required. To sign up, visit https://bit.ly/WhaleSharkWebinar
The presentation is hosted by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council as part of its monthly Know Your Ocean Speaker Series. This event is sponsored by the County of Maui Office of Climate Change, Resiliency, and Sustainability (CCRS).
Harvey formed Hawai‘i Uncharted Research Collective in 2017. Her research non-profit provides an avenue to couple her research and education background with her love for the Hawaiian Islands, ocean conservation and the charismatic whale sharks that inhabit the deep blue waters of the Pacific.
Her presentation will dive into some of HURC’s results so far, the efforts that are underway to protect whale sharks and the organization’s future plans.
Harvey graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and is currently working on her graduate degree in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology.
Harvey’s love for the ocean, education, wilderness, and research has taken her all over the world in recent years. Notably, Harvey has worked in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Cape Cod. During her travels, she has worked as a Captain, naturalist, expedition guide, assistant researcher, and currently a level-4 marine animal disentanglement specialist. Her work and studies have encompassed a variety of species, including spinner dolphins, humpback whales, right whales, bottlenose dolphins, leatherback turtles and whale sharks.
In recent years, Harvey has been a guest lecturer and distinguished speaker for private universities and cruise operations, including the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School, Georgetown University, and UnCruise Adventures.
“Those who have encountered whale sharks in the wild say it is an extremely memorable experience,” said Meredith Beeson, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s Research and Program’s Coordinator and manager of the Know Your Ocean Speaker Series. “This free talk will bring you up-close to the world of whale sharks, through Maria Harvey’s work to understand and protect them. Come join us online for this fascinating evening presentation.”
To register, please visit https://bit.ly/WhaleSharkWebinar