Headlines – News – Articles
30th December, 2011

Third monk seal found dead

Media Watch, Honolulu Civil Beat, 28 December 2011

A third monk seal was found dead on Molokai Wednesday and officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working to determine the cause of death.

The discovery comes after news last week that NOAA is investigating the deaths of two other monk seals in which foul play is suspected. […]

The monk seal deaths come at a time when tensions between local fishermen and NOAA have escalated as the agency considers expanding protections for the endangered species around the main Hawaiian islands. [More]

Source: Third monk seal found dead on Molokai, Sophie Cocke, Honolulu Civil Beat, 28 December 2011

24th December, 2011

US authorities investigate monk seal deaths

Media Watch, Maui Now, 23 December 2011

State and federal authorities are investigating the suspicious deaths of two Hawaiian monk seals found recently on the south shore of Moloka‘i. […]

Authorities say foul play cannot be ruled out as the cause in either case. […]

Molokai resident Walter Ritte issued a statement saying the deaths are an “indication of a dangerous trend that must be stopped.”

Walter Ritte:  “Our elders are saying that these seals are not Hawaiian. Our young people are calling these seals an invasive species brought in by government. The seals are now the easy targets of blame for the many ills of our depleting fisheries. We need to stand up for the truth: These seals are not only Hawaiian, but have been here longer than the Hawaiians. These seals are not invasive; they are like the Hawaiian people who are struggling to survive in their own lands. Hawaiians need to see themselves when they see a Hawaiian Monk Seal. How we treat the seals, is how we can be expected to be treated as Hawaiians in Hawaii.” [More]

Source: Moloka‘i monk seal deaths deemed suspicious, Wendy Osher, Maui News, 23 December 2011

8th December, 2011

Shot dead on Rhodes

MOm/Hellenic Society for the Study & Protection of the Monk Seal, 7 December 2011

Rhodes seal killingOn Tuesday December 6, the Port Police of Rhodes and the Dodecanese Fisheries Director and President of the Management Body of the Protected Area Karpathos-Saria, Ms. Fotaki Marigo, informed MOm of a dead monk seal on the Karavola islet southwest of Rhodes.

On the same day, the Security Chief of the Port Police of Rhodes, Mr. Vasilis Milathianakis, and volunteers from the Free Diving Association of Dodecanese-Rhodes, went to the site to confirm the incident and collect information and data. In consultation with the Director of MOm’s Rescue and Information Network, Ms. Marianna Psaradellis, all necessary arrangements were made for the collection of samples, since the area is remote and transport of the animal was not possible.

→ Continue reading Shot dead on Rhodes

16th June, 2011

Monk seal favourite killed on Amorgos

— by Erwin Werdenigg, Amorgos Island Magazine

The young seal was found dead on an Amorgos beach

Amorgos – June 15th, 2011: The young friendly male monk seal appearing in the port of Aegiali at the middle of April quickly won the hearts of the people and became a “mascot” of tourists and also the magazine.  On last Friday (June 10th) Dimitris Synodinos (Amorgos Diving Center) alerted that the animal was found dead on the beach.

People from MOm (the Greek monk seal protection group) could not travel to Amorgos themselves due to increased ferry occupancy. The animal was send to Athens on Saturday for autopsy. The examination at MOm showed that:

It was a young male seal, 6-7 months old, in good nutritional status. The animal had injuries in the back sustained by a sharp object, which crossed the side to reach the thoracic cavity, thus injuring the lung. Histological analysis will give us information on whether the animal eventually died from suffocation or internal bleeding. In any case, death resulted from the trauma deliberately inflicted upon the animal, from close distance.

→ Continue reading Monk seal favourite killed on Amorgos

23rd February, 2011

Pup shot dead on Evia, Greece

A young female monk seal has been shot and killed on the Aegean island of Evia, reports Greek NGO MOm. An onsite necropsy by the organisation’s rescue team indicated that the still nursing pup had been in good nutritional health before being shot in the head with a hunting rifle by “person or persons unknown” on 16 February.

The killing comes 10 months after the shooting of a male pup in the same area. “Markos“, who suffered horrific head wounds as a result of the attack on 27 April 2010, quickly succumbed to its injuries despite intensive care at MOm’s seal rescue unit on Alonnisos.

→ Continue reading Pup shot dead on Evia, Greece

1st August, 2010

Facing the Monachus Conspiracy

Media Watch, Thomas Schultze-Westrum, EcoCommunications, August 1, 2010

Seals and coastal fishermen face identical threats, more than just the rapid depletion of fish resources by exploitive trawlers…

“Indiscriminate seal killers” …  With this unjust accusation against the coastal fishermen – our allies from the beginning – the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal (MOm) and their associates have demonstrated clearly their incompetence and regardless diffamation [sic], actually the total failure of their strategy. Because, at the time when MOm was founded, already there existed a full collaboration between the cooperative of the fishermen of Alonnisos and the conservation movement on behalf of the seals – see the “Declaration by the Fishermen of Alonnisos” of 1982 below. By this consensus the seals had become valued allies of the fishermen, in their function as guarantors of exclusive fishing rights in the coastal waters of the archipelago.

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26th July, 2010

Οι φώκες δεν είναι δέντρα…

Press Watch, TO BHMA Online (ΝΙΚΟΣ ΧΑΣΑΠΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ), July 25, 2010

Η παρ΄ ολίγον ενδοκυβερνητική «κρίση» όταν η κυρία Τίνα Μπιρμπίλη ζήτησε από την κυρία Κατερίνα Μπατζελή να απαγορευθεί η αλιεία στις περιοχές όπου υπάρχουν φώκες

Η μεσογειακή φώκια, το συμπαθές αυτό προστατευόμενο θαλάσσιο θηλαστικό, ήλθε ξαφνικά μεσούντος του θέρους να ταράξει τα ήδη ταραγμένα νερά στις ενδοκυβερνητικές διαμάχες. Δύο ωραίες κυρίες του Υπουργικού Συμβουλίου, στην προσπάθειά τους να κατοχυρώσουν τις όποιες αρμοδιότητες κι αν έχουν στο θαλάσσιο περιβάλλον, έπεσαν πάνω στη φώκια και έφθασαν μάλιστα στο σημείο να τη χαρακτηρίσουν ακόμη και… δέντρο. Η υπουργός Περιβάλλοντος, Ενέργειας και Κλιματικής Αλλαγής κυρία Τίνα Μπιρμπίλη και η υπουργός Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης και Τροφίμων κυρία Κατερίνα Μπατζελή άρχισαν αιφνιδίως να αλληλογραφούν τι θα γίνει με τις φώκες και πώς αυτές θα περισωθούν. Ωσάν να έμειναν και πολλές στη Μεσόγειο. Ούτε καν 450, από τις οποίες οι 250 ζουν στα νερά της Ελλάδας και της Τουρκίας. […]

2nd July, 2010

An epidemic of killings

Editorial, The Monachus Guardian, June 2010

It is hard to imagine anyone not being moved by the tragic tale of ‘Markos’ – the young Mediterranean monk seal who was brought into intensive care, struggling for life, but horribly mutilated by the bullet that shattered his jaw and nasal cavity.

Possibly it was a blessing in disguise that, despite the valiant attempts to save him, he ultimately succumbed to his injuries, for it seemed doubtful that he would ever swim, dive, or grace the Aegean again.

The killing of monk seals in Greece, according to national NGO MOm, is reaching “epidemic proportions”.

The organisation has recorded 15 deaths since January, 5 of which yielded conclusive evidence of deliberate killing. Another killing by gunfire was reported in Turkey on the Bodrum peninsula on 21 April. With other killings just as likely to go undetected along remote coastlines, the final death toll is anybody’s guess.

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