HPU Profs Lend Expertise To Protected Species Committee
By TYSON AGBAYANI
Two Hawaii Pacific University oceanography professors are now on the Protected Species Committee of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Associate professor Samuel Kahng and assistant professor David Hyrenbach, who both teach at HPU’s Oceanic Institute in Waimanalo, joined the committee this past summer to focus on priorities for management, research and conservation for protected species.
“As science continues to advance our knowledge of ocean ecology, population dynamics and human impacts on our environment, there is an ongoing need to assess and refine our approaches to conservation and fish-eries management,” said Kahng, a specialist in coral and reef fish.
Hyrenbach, a Waimanalo resident whose expertise is ecology and conservation of seabirds, shared similar thoughts. “The committee enhances the council’s species-specific management programs with broader ecosystem considerations and policies that coordinate management across fishing gears and target species,” he noted.
The men are in good company on a panel that already includes experts in sea turtles, marine mammals and sharks. Aimed at managing fisheries in waters around Hawaii and many Pacific island nations, the council works with local communities, fishermen and the federal government to keep fisheries sustainable, protecting the fishing industry and the local communities that depend on it.