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Celebrate World Ocean Day during June

By Staff | May 28, 2021

MAALAEA — Launched in 1992, World Ocean Day is a global movement that takes place annually on June 8 and unites conservation leaders and environmentally conscientious individuals and organizations in addressing the myriad threats facing marine wildlife and ecosystems.

In recognition of this auspicious day, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) will offer events and programs throughout the month of June designed to inspire awareness of our blue planet and the ocean that directly or indirectly sustains all life.

On June 7, PWF Conservation Coordinator Shelby Serra will host Responsible Recipes, a pre-recorded cooking presentation that underscores the importance of choosing fish and other seafood that is sustainably harvested.

As explored in PWF Conservation’s recent article series, Making Waves: Fisheries Interactions, many commercial and local fishing practices pose serious threats to marine populations such as whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other species that are inadvertently caught or become tangled in discarded or abandoned fishing gear. Being a responsible consumer can help mitigate these dangers by selecting seafood that carries a sustainable seafood certification by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Join Serra as she offers recipes and preparation tips for sustainable fish tacos. Message questions about sustainable food to PWF’s Facebook or Instagram accounts, or e-mail inquiries to socialmedia@pacificwhale.org and tune in on June 7 for answers.

You can catch Serra’s sustainable seafood video presentation on PWF’s social media channels or by visiting pacificwhale.org/conservation.

While visiting the website, be sure to take a deeper dive into PWF Conservation’s Making Waves article series, focused on the policies that protect whales and dolphins from the major stressors they face. In the next Making Waves: Climate Change series launching June 10, PWF highlights the threat of climate change to the ocean ecosystem — and specifically to whales and dolphins — and what you can do to help. Learn what actions you can take today to contribute to the health of the ocean and its inhabitants.

Following on June 8, World Ocean Day, PWF presents the fifth annual World Whale Film Festival showcasing visual storytellers from around the world with a passion for ocean conservation and environmental stewardship.

The thoughtfully curated films selected for this year’s festival honor that vision and are centered around the theme of “Connection to the Ocean.”

With an emphasis on marine conservation at home and around the world, these compelling stories promise to inspire current and future environmental stewards.

Discover how cetaceans exhibit social behaviors and cognitive abilities similar to humans in “Ocean Souls,” a collaboration of scientists, celebrities and more than 100 filmmakers.

Listen to the ocean lament global threats, such as marine debris and ghost nets, in “The Ocean Voice,” an interesting perspective through personification. Learn the meaning behind the male humpback’s song during mating season in “Changing Seas: Mystery of the Humpback Whale Song,” based on a study conducted in Maui’s Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Sponsored by the Maui County Office of Economic Development, this year’s festival features both a virtual and in-person component.

For those on Maui, there will be a small, socially distanced event beginning at 5:30 p.m. on June 8 at Ocean Vodka’s 80-acre organic farm in Kula, which includes dinner, drinks and select film screenings throughout the evening.

Cost is $125 per person, which includes a PWF 12-ounce tumbler, drinks, dinner provided by Fork & Salad and access to the virtual screenings. VIP tickets are $175 and include preferred seating plus additional PWF swag.

Held on the lawn at Ocean Vodka, attendees are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets, then sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of film devoted to ocean conservation.

In addition, throughout the month of June, Pacific Whale Foundation will offer Hawaii residents, passengers on cruises or ecotours with PacWhale Eco-Adventures (PWF’s social enterprise that helps fund the non-profit’s research, education and conservation programs), and the global community the opportunity to sign a pledge to practice ocean conservation.

All individuals who commit to this pledge will be given complimentary access to the Virtual World Whale Film Festival from June 1-30.

For more information, visitmauiwhalefestival.org/filmfestival.