Headlines – News – Articles
19th September, 2011

Recovering a species

Media Watch, The Molokai Dispatch, 19th September 2011

Actions proposed to assist monk seal survival

[…] In a hearing about the PEIS held on Molokai last Thursday, community members and fishermen offered their opinion on the proposals. Many expressed concerns about the large amount of fish Hawaiian monk seals eat – fish that they say could be going to feed their families. […]

More than 50 residents attended the hearing, and many testified before NMFS representatives and monk seal researchers. Many offered first-hand experience in encountering seals while fishing. Others were frustrated with the lack of local and cultural representation within the NMFS and in the PEIS document. […]

One of the [alternative] proposals considered by NMFS officials was the development of a facility in the NWHI for the seals, protected from the dangers that threaten their survival. [NOAA Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator Jeff] Walters said this proposal was dismissed because of prohibitive costs and logistical challenges. [Resident and Molokai Planning Commissioner Lori] Buchanan said she thinks that alternative should still be considered, as no mention was made of what it would actually cost to carry out this option. [Continues]

Source: Recovering a species, Catherine Cluett, The Molokai Dispatch, 19th September 2011

18th September, 2011

Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve

Recent Publications

Leah R. Gerber, James Estes, Tara Gancos Crawford, Lindsey E. Peavey, Andrew J. Read. 2011. Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve. Conservation Letters 00 (2011) 1–6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00197.x [PDF 238 KB]

4th September, 2011

NOAA clarifies language in impact statement newsletter

Recent Publications

NOAA has released a revised newsletter for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions Programmatic Impact Statement (PEIS). In an accompanying explanation, NOAA states: “The revisions aim to provide clearer language about the proposed alternatives evaluated in the PEIS. Language was changed on page 2 of the newsletter to clarify what Alternatives 1, 2, and 3 would not include.”

NOAA. 2011. Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions. Programmatic environmental impact statement. NOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Region. August 2011, Newsletter # 2, Revision # 1: 1-6. [PDF 209 KB]

3rd September, 2011

NOAA urges participation in PEIS process

NOAA has circulated a reminder urging public participation in meetings to address questions and concerns on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement of its Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions, and to allow formal testimony on the PEIS.

Meetings Schedule

TOWN HALL MEETINGS – Informal Question and Answer
NOAA Fisheries Service staff will provide a presentation on the status of monk seals and proposed recovery actions draft PEIS, and then be available to answer community questions and talk story about monk seal recovery.  For your convenience, at least two town hall sessions will be offered on each island. Town hall meetings have occurred on O‛ahu, Moloka‛i, Lāna‛i, and Maui. Please see schedule below for remaining town hall meetings scheduled on the Big Island and on Kaua‛i. **Please note: These are informational meetings only; we cannot take public comments for the record at these meetings.

PUBLIC HEARINGS – Formal Hearing for Public Comments
NOAA Fisheries service staff will provide a brief presentation about the draft PEIS and then receive comments for the public record.  The first 30 minutes will be an informal open-house where folks can talk story with NOAA scientists and managers involved in monk seal recovery. → Continue reading NOAA urges participation in PEIS process

25th August, 2011

Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions update

Recent Publications

NOAA. 2011. Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions. Programmatic environmental impact statement. NOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Region. August 2011, Newsletter # 2: 1-6. [PDF 336 KB]

“This newsletter is the second in a series of newsletters regarding the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions Programmatic Environmental Impact State- ment (PEIS). Since distribution of the first newsletter in October 2010, the Draft PEIS was completed and is currently available for public review and comment. Newsletters and the Draft PEIS can be found on the project website at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/hawaiianmonkseal.htm. The purpose of this newsletter is to announce the availability of the Draft PEIS and to invite you to participate in the formal public hearings and open house to provide feedback on the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions PEIS. This newsletter also provides a summary of alternatives considered in the document and guidance for providing comments.”

24th August, 2011

Why NOAA considered euthanizing aggressive monk seal

Media Watch, Hawaii News Now, 24 August 2011

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Teams from NOAA — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — have wrapped up this year’s Hawaiian monk seal field research in the Northwestern Hawaiian islands.

Controversy surrounded their efforts this season because of their decision to try to euthanize an aggressive monk seal that, they observed, attacking seal pups. Today, NOAA defended its decision by showing us some very graphic pictures of injured pups after an attack. […]

Source: Why NOAA considered euthanizing aggressive monk seal, Hawaii News Now, 24 August 2011

23rd August, 2011

Researchers face difficulties with monk seals

Media Watch, KITV, 23 August 2011

KURE ATOLL, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands — Untangling seals, applying stealth treatments, and searching for a killer. Scientists have had an exhausting season trying to manage our monk seal population. “The animal is entangled around the neck,” explained Dr. Charles Littnan at a news conference on Tuesday, pointing to a monk seal tangled in debris. Dr. Littnan and a team of 15 just returned from Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They’ve spent the past two weeks detangling seals from the constant waves of debris, counting and tagging newborns, reuniting some with their families, and trying to stop overly aggressive attacks — especially by one called KE18. […]

Video: Hawaii Teams Rescue Monk Seals

22nd August, 2011

MPA and monk seal conservation workshop in Martinique

— Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

Within the framework of the Second International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, which is being organised in Fort-de-France, Martinique, from 7-11 November 2011 by the French National MPA Agency, a workshop is being planned on the role of MPAs in the conservation of monk seals.

Building on the results of a previous meeting, which took place during the First international Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (Maui, March 2009), the aim of this workshop will be to further explore ways in which the MPA tool can be used to protect the two extant critically endangered representatives of Monachus which still survive in their respective Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Hawaiian habitats. Emphasis of this workshop will be to emphasize the differences of the challenges posed to conserving the two species, and on such basis to explore the pros and cons of MPA establishment, as opposed to the implementation of “conventional” conservation measures.

In order to make plans for the monk seal workshop and to allow a structuring of its programme, it would greatly help me to have an idea of who is likely to attend. If you intend participating to the ICMMPA in Martinique next November, and if you are interested in attending the monk seal workshop, I would appreciate it if you could kindly let me know. It would be also great to know if you have any direct experience in the field of monk seal MPAs and conservation (in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic or Hawaii) that you would be willing to share during the workshop.

Feedback will be particularly appreciated if sent to the email address below before the end of August, thank you.

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara — giuseppe@disciara.net