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From the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Sunday 1/15/12

Hawaii's endemic oceangoing mammals are being killed, and humanare to blame.
Federal and state fisheries officials suspect that encounters between humans and the estimated 200 Hawaiian monk seals in the main Hawaiian Islands led to the killing of 3 monk seals on Kauai and Molokai since November-and to suspicions that another monk seal found dead on Molokai also might have been killed intentionally.
A 2-3 year old 200-300 pound male had visible wounds to its head and a foreign object embedded in its scull.
The body was found in the same area where in 2009 a pregnant monk seal was shot and killed with a Browning 22-caliber rifle.

Not all problems are caused by humans, however, I am disturbed by the way humans kill these animals.

Although the Hawaiian monk seals are one coniguous species occurring all along the Hawaiian chain, the NWHI and MHI populations face different threats. In the NWHI the primary threats include food limtation for juveniles, shark predation on juveniles, entanglement in marine debris, adult male seal attacks on females and juveniles and shoreline habitat loss. Threats in the MHI include disease and human impacts inclding reacreatinal disturbance, fisheries interactions, habituation to humans and, even recently, intentional killings.


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All this is very disturbing. I agree with Vicky, we need to shift in the other direction. I also keep reading about a lot of cruelty to all sorts of animals by humans.

I found quite a bit of information about the monk seals here:

In recent years, commercial fishing has been promoted around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Entanglement of monk seals in fishing nets and lines has been reported to have occurred somewhat frequently. Some researchers claim that because monk seals are curious and playful by nature that they may be "attracted" to the fishing gear and unfortunately become entangled in the process. There have also been several reports of fishermen, who when are unable to untangle the seals from their nets or longlines, harm or kill them as they eat the bait on their hooks. Therefore, it seems that regulating the types and quantity of fishing that are permitted in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands could be important to the seal's survival. Not only do non-selective types of fishing gear such as driftnets, gill nets and longlines pose a direct threat to the seals, but, the indirect effects of removing too much of the seal's food organisms from the reefs and waters of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands is not known. Overfishing is thought to have been the primary cause for the extinction of the Caribbean monk seal. Let us hope that the future of the Hawaiian monk seal will be better secured through better fisheries management.
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