Humpback Whale Sanctuary appoints new advisory members


October 11, 2019, 11:12 a.m. HST
* Updated October 11 at 10:21 a.m.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Islands National Humpback Whale Sanctuary has announced four new core members and one alternate member to serve on its advisory board.

NOAA directors say the new appointees bring valuable experience to the board, a community organization that provides sanctuary staff with feedback and recommendations on sanctuary programs and management.

The newly appointed members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Malia Akutagawa – Moloka’i Island Primary Representative
  • Roxane Keli’ikipikāneokolohaka – Native Hawaiian Primary
  • James kelleher – Primary commercial shipping
  • Greg Nielson – Primary tourism
  • Shoko Takamura – Alternative Ocean Recreation

Established in 1996, the Hawaii Islands National Humpback Whale Sanctuary Advisory Council provides advice and recommendations on the management and protection of the sanctuary.

On a volunteer basis, board members represent a variety of local user groups, as well as the general public. The principal and alternate members of the sanctuary advisory board serve three-year terms and meet three times a year in public sessions.


The sanctuary is administered by a partnership between the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawaii through the Division of Aquatic Resources. The sanctuary works to protect humpback whales through research, education, conservation and stewardship.


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