Department of Lands and Natural Resources

08/18/22 – STATE CONSERVATION POLICE CONCLUDES TWO-WEEK WATCH FOR KAIMANA MONK SEALS

Posted on August 22, 2022 in DOCARE, Press releases, slider

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

CASE OF SUZANNE D.
PRESIDENT

For Immediate Release: August 18, 2022

STATE CONSERVATION POLICE CONCLUDE TWO-WEEK WATCH FOR KAIMANA MONK SEAL

Department of Lands and Natural Resources GOPR1057To see the video, click on the photo or see this link: https://vimeo.com/741048982

(HONOLULU) – For the past 15 days, DLNR Division of Conservation and Control of Resources (DOCARE) officers have been providing enforcement and education on Kaimana Beach, while Rocky, a monk seal mother, taught his pup the skills he will need to survive. itself.

Tonight, the 24-hour presence of DOCARE officers at the popular Waikīkī beach came to an end, after the cub named Koalani was weaned and was in the process of being moved to an undisclosed location far from the core. O’ahu urban

The unprecedented visibility of law enforcement began on August 3, after DLNR leaders responded to concerns about the safety of seals and people. In July, a swimmer encountered the seals in the water near the Natatorium, and was bitten by the protective mother seal, causing minor injuries. The incident highlighted the very real risks faced by both animals and curious humans who intentionally or inadvertently got too close.

During DOCARE’s two-week presence on the beach and in the water, officers did not cite anyone for a violation called “obstruction of a government operation.”

“While this duty certainly stretched DOCARE’s resources to the limit, we felt law enforcement presence was required to prevent further encounters, which could well have ended tragically,” said DLNR President Suzanne Case.

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DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla added, “Our men and women responded vigorously knowing that protecting our natural resources and public safety are integral to DOCARE’s core mission. We have not calculated all the staff costs, but we estimate that the total time spent monitoring the monk seals is more than 500 man-hours.”

Officers enforced a 50-yard cordon on the beach and in the ocean during the operation, reflecting NOAA guidance for people to stay at least 150 feet away from resting or swimming seals. While no citations were issued, they had to chase away several swimmers who got too close to the animals.

With the monk seal population continuing to grow on the main Hawaiian Islands and mothers showing up more frequently to breed and wean their pups on populated beaches, DLNR is exploring strategies to provide the level of safety necessary to prevent someone from being caught. wounded and wild animals getting used to people.

“Clearly, the presence of our DOCARE officers made a huge difference and were a necessary complement to the great efforts of the Hawaiian Marine Animal Response (HMAR) volunteers, who were constantly monitoring and moving the physical cord while Rocky and Koalani they became more and more active,” Case concluded.

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MEANS

(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD Video – Final Seal Overwatch (Aug 18, 2022):

https://vimeo.com/741048982

(SOTS-Chief Jason Redulla, DOCARE)

HD Video – Kaimana Monk Seal Enforcement (Aug 6, 2022):

https://vimeo.com/737191915

Photos: Kaimana Monk Seal Final Surveillance and Enforcement (18-8 and 6-8, 2022):

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/edsldswtwfww9w5/AACoh_uywj66Y1mfsDS9NAn9a?dl=0

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

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Senior Communications Manager

Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources

[email protected]