Education, conservation, key for Hawaiian monk seal - Marine Conservation News

A sleeping monk seal

These animals are among the most endangered seals on earth”

The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, he Marine Mammal Center-Ke Ka Ola rehabilitation hospital on Hawaii island, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Marine Mammal Center are using conservation education as a tool to fight monk seal harrasment by tourist, which is a Class C felony (Touching, harassing, capturing, injuring or killing monk seals). It appears most people get a fine of $500 and some basic education, and what many would call common sense. These agencies would rather teach people how to respect these endangered animals than charging people, such as the recent tourist who was filmed almost being bit by a resting monk seal when she touched the animal while posing for a photo with it.

A sleeping monk seal

"Van Heukelem added that researchers estimate that about 30 percent of the species are alive today due to conservation efforts led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and partners such as the Marine Mammal Center."

"There are only about 300 Hawaiian monk seals that frequent the main Hawaiian islands and about 1,100 in Northwestern Hawaiian islands, said Van Heukelem."

Read the article from The Maui News :

Read about the people getting fined $500 for harrasing monk seals : Visitors who touched monk seal fined $500

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