Ibrahem Benamer, Natural Resources and Environmental Science,
Omar Mukhtar University (OMU), El-beida, Libya
On the 25 March in the area of Ain Gazzalla (Northeast Libya near the Egyptian border, 32.23284 N, 23.2848 E) a group of fishermen found a dead female monk seal trapped in their net. The case was reported to the coastguard who in turn informed the National Marine Laboratory. The carcass is now in their possession at the Lab and an autopsy is being arranged during this week.
This event is the only confirmed case of monk seal existence in eastern Libya since Norris 1972 [Norris, W.J.T. 1972. Monk Seals in Libya. Oryx 11: 328-330.], which may indicate that this critically endangered species can still be found in the area or close by, which will support the importance of the area as an MPA.
A report will be issued after the autopsy; meanwhile, pictures taken by the fishermen can be found on Flickr.