Headlines – News – Articles
13th October, 2012

DLNR, NOAA appeal for help in preventing entanglements

News release, US Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), 5 October 2012
Fishing hook

Photo courtesy NOAA

The Department of Land and Natural Resources and NOAA Fisheries announce that since the beginning of 2012, NOAA Fisheries, DLNR, and partners have responded to 13 seal hooking incidents involving ten individual Hawaiian monk seals.

Due to early reporting, seven of the 11 live cases ended successfully with intervention from authorized federal and state agency monk seal responders.

Two cases ended in the seal ridding itself without intervention, and although an intervention was attempted, one seal remains hooked to this day.

Three cases ended in deaths.

Most recently, on Oct. 2, 2012, the monk seal locally known as “RK54” was found dead near the Ninini Light house on Kauai. The seal swallowed a hook, became entangled in the line, and died. RK54 was born in April 2011 to RK22 (mother of the “famous” KP2 who resides at Waikiki Aquarium).

→ Continue reading DLNR, NOAA appeal for help in preventing entanglements

14th May, 2012

DLNR, NOAA urge reporting of monk seal incidents

News Release, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii, 11 May 2012

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and NOAA Fisheries announced this week that since March 2012, NOAA Fisheries, DLNR, and partners have responded to five seal hooking incidents involving four individual Hawaiian monk seals. Three of these responses are still in progress.

NOAA and DLNR would like to take this opportunity to remind fishermen that monk seal deaths and injuries from fishing interactions can often be prevented, and adverse impacts to fishermen and seals can be reduced through early reporting of incidents.

“Monk seals are a vital part of Hawai‘i’s marine and cultural environment,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “While DLNR and NOAA seek to address all adverse impacts on Hawaiian monk seals, we want to acknowledge the cooperation of Hawai‘i fishermen and emphasize that we do not consider fishing interactions in the main Hawaiian Islands to currently pose a major threat to monk seal recovery.”

NOAA Fisheries Service data indicate that a total of 77 hooking incidents have been reported over the past 10 years, with at total of nine incidents in 2011 and eight incidents reported thus far in 2012 (including the five incidents discussed here). [More]

Source: DLNR, NOAA ask for fishermen’s kokua in reporting monk seal hooking or entanglements, News Release, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii, 11 May 2012 (PDF).

13th May, 2012

Vancouver Aquarium veterinarian assists in monk seal surgery

Media Watch, Vancouver Aquarium, 11 May 2012

Dr. Haulena gives endangered monk seal anaesthesia for surgical procedure (NOAA)

Vancouver Aquarium veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena, received an emergency call on May 9 to fly to Hawaii to help support a local rescue effort.

He participated in two successful procedures to remove accidentally-ingested fishing hooks from endangered monk seals on May 10.

One of the monk seals required surgery to remove the hook, which was lodged deep in the esophagus near the opening to the stomach. Dr. Haulena performed the anesthesia and collaborated with Dr. Robert Braun and veterinarians at the Honolulu Zoo to remove the hook. The seal is in recovery and rehabilitation is expected to take several days to weeks. [More]

Source: Aquarium veterinarian helps save monk seals, Vancouver Aquarium, 11 May 2012.

5th May, 2012

Save Our Seal!

Hawaiian Monk Seal Public Service Announcement

26th April, 2012

Officials investigate seal death

Media Watch, Officials probe fourth Hawaiian monk seal death, Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (AP) – Federal and state officials are investigating the fourth suspicious death of a Hawaiian monk seal in six months after a male seal was found dead in northeastern Kauai. [...]

Source: Officials probe fourth Hawaiian monk seal death, Hawaii News Now, 25 April 2012.

26th April, 2012

New monk seal killing alarms Hawaii

Media Watch, Reward offered in death of Monk Seal, KITV

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating the death of 3-year-old male monk seal found on Kauai, Sunday. Photo Courtesy: NOAA

KAUAI – The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating the death of a 3-year-old male monk seal, who was found dead on Sunday.

DLNR chair William Aila said the seal was found on a Northeast Kaua’i beach in an area were seals have been harmed before. [...]

DLNR officials say this is the fifth monk seal death under investigation.

Since November, three seals were found dead on Molokai and two have been found dead on Kaua’i.

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the monk seal deaths is now up to $40,000.

The anonymous and reward tip line is 1-855-DLNR-TIP.

Source: Reward offered in death of Monk Seal, KITV, 25 April 2012

27th January, 2012

Some say monk seal protection law may have backfired

Media Watch, KITV,25 January 2012

The suspicious death of four Hawaiian monk seals has triggered numerous calls into a tipline hoping to lead investigators to who may be responsible. [...]

YouTube Video

16th January, 2012

Special Report: Fight for Survival

Media Watch, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 15 January 2012

[...] The current theory is that the ancient ancestors of today’s Hawaiian monk seals began exploring from their original home in the Caribbean 3 million years ago through what is now Central America during a time of global climate change, said Charles Littnan, program leader for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian monk seals research.

“We don’t know how long that immigration took to occur, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years,” Littnan said. “We do know that quite dramatic climate change was happening, and these are tropical animals that will have to go to where they are better adapted to survive. They probably went to other areas and didn’t survive. But Hawaii was this perfect match for this far-traveling seafarer.” [...]

Source: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, Living Fossil, Dan Nakaso, Special Report, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 15 January 2012. [PDF 20.2 MB]