Richard ROSHON: The Whaleman

richard roshon .

 Richard Roshon has been described as the Jane Goodall of the sea. Spending much of his younger life living on a sailboat in the Hawaiian Archipelago, he has sailed throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines, the east coast of Japan, and on numerous Trans-Pacific sailboat races from California to Honolulu, Hawaii. Richard has surfed the big waves of Hawaii from Sunset Beach to Hanalei, and has competed in the 50-mile outrigger canoe race from the island of Molokai to Oahu, Hawaii.

In the early 1970's Richard was introduced to the Eskimo Kayak. The kayak has become his tool, allowing him to view Nature (primarily North Pacific Humpback whales) peacefully and with respect.

Since 1975 Richard has logged thousands of miles, circumnavigating the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe. His longest trek has been from his home on Maui across the Alenuihaha channel to the big island of Hawaii, a 22-hour trek.

In the 1980's while displaying his North Pacific Humpback whale photographs at the Kapalua Bay Hotel on Maui, Richard met actor Mr. George Peppard. It was through Mr. Peppard's interest in producing a documentary of Richard's life, which has enabled Richard to log his findings and experiences with North Pacific Humpback whales and other marine life, through film, and still photographs. Unfortunately Mr. Peppard died in May of 1994, before a film could be completed.

Since then Richard has fascinated audiences from Maui, Hawaii to South Africa through his multi-media, human-interest presentations, which share personal experiences of kayaking throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago and up-close observations of many of the oceans species.

In addition to his lectures, in 1999 Richard self-published his first book "Okeanos-Great River Circling the Earth". Ms. Liz Janes Brown of the Maui News, compliments Richards book by viewing it as a volume that celebrates nature, and emphasizes the fragility of the environment and pleads for good stewardship.

Not surprisingly, Richard is a vigorous advocate for the protection of the sea and it's species. Richard is strongly opposed to the captivity of marine mammals, and was strongly opposed to the Hawaii Super-Ferry. This ferry would of operated within the boundaries of the North Pacific Humpback whale sanctuary - the mating and birthing areas of North Pacific Humpback whales averaging speeds of over 35 miles per hour. And accident waiting to happen. 

In 1999 Richard was the guest speaker at the Hermanus Whale Festival in South Africa. Hermanus, South Africa prides itself in "Shore Based Whale Watching Only" no motorized boats. Southern Right Whales, and Humpback whales migrate to this area from the Antarctica to mate and give birth. Upon his return home Richard created "Guidelines for a proposed Marine Sanctuary". These guidelines were forwarded to Mr. Valli Moosa, Environmental Minister of South Africa, and later implemented - which created a marine sanctuary in which no whale-watching boats are allowed. "Shore Based Whale Watching" only. More of this South African journey can be found under Articles.

Richard writes: "Walk lightly and leave no footprints. Wild life needs more than just protection it needs direct human help. All too many species survive by our consent alone. For better or for worse we have become the keepers of the wild."

richard roshon


Words of Praise for Richard Roshon

January 2008
Dear Mr. Roshon,

I hope you remember me, I was the student who appealed for your opinions and help regarding a science project on marine mammal tourism. I must sincerely apologize for having not replied in such a long time, I've been busy but I recognize it doesn't count as an excuse. Your help was invaluable to the success of my project, I received an A+ grade on it

I have also received the incredibly generous package you posted over here containing all I could have asked for and more. Thank you for the book especially, I have spent quite the hours delving within its pages, and your work continues to fascinate me; I have yet to complete the entire book but I'm sure I will soon.

Again, I apologize for my lateness and lack of courtesy regarding my reply, I want you to know I have deeply appreciated your help and thank you for it. As always, may God bless you for the work you do reveling in His creation. It is not too impossible our paths might cross again in the future, and I will be able to experience richness of the experiences you offer first hand.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie NG Gisborne
Vic., Australia 2008

"I have been waiting to have a little 'jewel' of a time to write to you, because I want to treasure the thoughts again of how wonderful it was on so many levels to have you as the guest speaker at the 2005 Inland Sea Kayak Symposium here in Washburn, Wisconsin.

"Words hardly describe how great it was to have you here for both personal and professional reasons. You kicked-ass as the guest speaker and presence at the event, you must know that from the feedback you got during the event and afterwards. I will send you copies of some evaluations with specific comments.

"I must say it was a GREAT idea to have you come here with the
Hawaiian theme!!!!! We can hardly get over how well it all went,
how enthusiastic and turned on the participants were and how much FUN it was. People loved it and they loved YOU. Your life, sincerity, your eccentricity, your passion and commitment drew people in and created a foundation for the event Rick. Your keynote presentation is awesome, beautiful, thought provoking, inspiring and caring."

Gail Green
Founder "Adventures in Perspective"
Bayfield, Wisconsin

"Richard Roshon has a deep and long experience in non-invasive observations of the Humpback Whales. I have experienced his lecture and recommend it to all that have and interest in whales. His knowledge is deep and detailed. His photographs are both beautiful and enlightening. His presentation is very professional and well-received by all."

Merrill P. Spencer
M.D. Dir. Institute of Applied, Physiology and Medicine
Seattle, Washington


"Mr. Roshon is a devoted naturalist and conservationist. He paddles hundreds of miles each year following pods of the great Humpback Whales. He has been rewarded by their acceptance of his quiet presence by rising and playing mere feet from his fragile craft, aware that his is a benign and friendly presence."
Mr. George Peppard


"Today we bid farewell to Richard Roshon from Hawaii who is a gentle soul, passionate about the well being of whales, and who has left us with serious food for thought and action. His lectures drew unprecedented interest from the public and the media."

The Hermanus Whale Festival Hermanus
South Africa

"Thanks for the presentation that you made at Ball State University on April 16th, as part of our Earth Week 2002 activities. From conversations with those who attended, your message of appreciation for nature and ideas for marine conservation was very well received. The discussion of whales and sharks, coupled with your understanding of the ocean environment was very educational. Your photographic images were awe inspiring and reinforced the words that you delivered. Overall, I believe that your presentation was very appropriate to reinforce the importance of protecting the environment that is associated with Earth Week. "

Hugh Brown
Chair and Associate Professor, Ball State University

"To a person, Richard Roshon is a man of his convictions. He is an honest, truthful, aware, intelligent, and caring individual. These qualities might be a detriment…for most people these adjectives would be proudly displayed on a resume, as they are intended. For Richard they are a way of life, many people are afraid to stand by their beliefs for fear that someone may not like them due to their opinions. As an honest, truthful, aware, intelligent and caring man he must stand by his convictions! And he does.

"If you read between the lines of his Bio you will understand more about who Richard Roshon is, if you experience his lectures you have a greater insight still. And if you experience his world on the water, well there are no adjectives appropriate for that encounter. Being able to share these treasures with a limited number of guests (one at a time) is certainly unfortunate for those who didn't get the chance to come along. That leaves the masses to experience his lectures, which are passionate to say the least.

"Why do visitors come to Maui? Certainly not because they can find what we have to offer at home. The Hawaiian Islands, it is no secret, are unique. Her natural resources are tremendous although not in a limitless supply. Sometimes we forget this, Richard helps us to remember and understand that extinction IS forever and by paving paradise we are only encouraging the process for an ever-increasing list.

"Do us all a favor and listen to Richards multi-media program entitled, "Man, Kayak and the Whale". By increasing awareness, intelligence and the truth you might help raise our quality of life."

T. Adam Quinn
Director Maui Eco-Adventures