Hōkūle’a: Conservation Lessons From Australia

Crewmembers, Kaniela and Tamiko, awaiting orders for raising the spar aboard Hōkūke'a. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

For the past couple of months, the crew aboard Hōkūle‘a have been sailing up the coast of Australia as part of the voyage around the world using non-instrument navigation. It is the first time that the renowned double-hull sailing canoe has ever been to this part of the world, as is the case with most of the crew. This makes it all the more important for us to forge new relationships with people and communities that have the know-how to help guide us on our journey.

This Worldwide Voyage is meant to simultaneously honor the knowledge of ancient Polynesians and celebrate the efforts of modern-day communities that are committed to a better future for the Earth. Whether it’s an individual effort or a group effort, these navigators of change play a critical role in the collective movement to protect the environment in this period of unprecedented changes.

Crewmembers, Kaniela and Tamiko, work together to raise the spar aboard Hōkūke’a. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

One such community that we learned a great deal from was the Indigenous Rangers of Yuku Baja Muliku (Archer Point), in the North Queensland region. These rangers are Aboriginal Australians, or traditional landowners of Archer Point and are thus committed to the stewardship of their land and sea, focusing largely on the Great Barrier Reef.

During our visit to their headquarters, the Hōkūle’a crew got to see some of the work that goes on at this place. Among the many services and projects that the Ranger Program engages in is a rescue and rehabilitation center for sick turtles.

One of the rangers transports a rehabilitating turtle. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Two young rangers feeding sick turtles. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Two young rangers feed sick turtles. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

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