Ahhhh...hard to believe that amidst the splashing and laughing and playful antics surrounding Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu that there would be a Hawaiian Monk Seal bathing in the sun. Oblivious to all going on around it, this Endangered Species is taking advantage of a beautiful tropical day to catch a tan (haha) and few winks.
Where the population of the Monk Seal used to be high, it has decreased 11% per year since 1989 and is the MOST endangered marine mammal in the United States. One of the main factors for their decrease in population is contributed to discarded fish nets and lines that the monk seals get entagled in. Another contributing factor is that the Laysan and Lisianski male seals are attacking the females and the deaths are up to 10 to 11 seals on Laysan alone which is 4% of the island's populations. READ MORE HERE>
Lately, they seem to be all over our islands...stopping to rest on any old beach. Just remember though, Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act it is considered a violation and called "harassment" if you are walking along the beach and a Monk Seal lifts its head and vocalizes or retreats into the water because you disrupted it. WOW.
In any event, they are just the cutest yet most wonderous creatures you would lay eyes on. My daughter was out at Waimea Bay beach two weeks ago and lo and behold there was this creature (yes, she GAVE ME the picture :) and she snapped me a shot.
Everyone can help respect the Hawaiian Monk Seal by:
- Respecting the privacy of the seal.
- Stay at least 150 feet away from the seal
- Keep dogs on a leash so they do not disrupt or attack seals.
- Fishing by being seal friendly
- Report all monk seal sightings by calling NOAA hotline numbers. (Oahu call 220-7802; Neighbor Islands call toll free 888-256-9840)
© 2008 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog. All rights reserved.