Sea Talk Series
Sharkastics: A Study on the Effect of
Plastic Pollution on Marine Animals
Presented by Cheryl King on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 6-7pm

SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, MA‘ALAEA, MAUI, HI – A complimentary Sea Talk Series lecture will be given on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by local marine biologist and turtle researcher Cheryl King.  In keeping with Maui Ocean Center’s focus on green and conservation in September, King’s Sea Talk will focus on the effect of plastics pollution on marine animals.  The hour-long Sea Talk will begin at 6:00 pm in Maui Ocean Center’s Open Ocean exhibit, a question and answer segment to follow.  Reservations are recommended by calling (808) 270-7088.

“Sharkastics” is what King termed plastics that have obvious bite marks (jagged serrations and/or punctures) from sharks and other animals.  These plastics are commonly found during marine debris cleanups in Hawaii.  King’s goal is to determine the global distribution of sharkastics and assess this issue’s impact on shark survival.  “We've created www.sharkastics.org. It’s a gateway where the public can learn more and get involved, as well as add their input,” states King

King graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in biology and psychology (focusing on marine mammal behavior) from Southampton College of Long Island University (NY) and has a Master’s of Science in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center (FL).  Along with being the Maui Research Coordinator for Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund’s Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project since 2000, she has also worked with the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission’s Ocean Resources Management Program since 2002.  Although Cheryl is interested in everything ocean-related, she specializes in Hawaiian endangered species research, rescue and management and has a deep passion for ocean conservation, especially the impacts of marine debris.

During this Maui Ocean Center Sea Talk, King will illustrate her marine debris cleanup work with both KIRC and HWF and present opportunities on how to get involved with their efforts.  She has been conducting marine debris cleanups for approximately seven years and uses what she coined “SHARKASTICS™” to raise awareness of the serious global plastic pollution issue that isn’t going away anytime soon.  Sharkastics (the combined words: shark and plastic) are plastics that have obvious bite marks, like jagged serrations and/or punctures, from animals such as sharks, apex predator fish, turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals.  King and her team have collected thousands of sharkastics and her goal is to determine the global distribution of SHARKASTICS and assess this issue's potential impacts on animal survival.

The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life. This state-of-the-art aquarium was named “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawaii” by Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide, “Leader In Responsible Tourism” on the Top 100 Blue List by Islands Magazine, and “Best Value Family Attraction in Maui” in Up! Magazine. Open daily from 9 to 5, and from 9 to 6 in July and August. For more information please contact the Maui Ocean Center: 192 Ma‘alaea Road; Ma‘alaea, HI 96793; telephone (808)270-7000, facsimile (808)270-7070, e-mail info@mauioceancenter.com or visit www.mauioceancenter.com.

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