Hawaiian Monk Seals

Community Contributed

By Danielle Mersberg

The Hawaiian Monk Seals are endangered species that need to be restored because they are native, and it is out kuleana as Hawaiians to help save them. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is pre-historic and have been swimming these oceans for about 10,000,000 years. Even King Alexander LihoLiho hunted seals at Nihoa in 1857 during the time of the Hawaiian Monarchy, so that proves that the Hawaiian Monk Seals are native.

On Aug. 8 there was a Critical Habitat Meeting. At that meeting I listened to all na kupuna mana’o about the seals, some good and some bad. I heard some aunties and uncles say that the seals are no good and they eat all the fish, but we forget that the seals were here before us. We forget that the seals depend on the ocean to survive unlike us. The ocean is their home and we are the predators taking their food. I also learned about critical habitat and how it’s like a safe zone for the monk seals to try and restore their population. I think it’s a smart idea.

On Friday, Aug. 12 my Ho`omana Hou class and I walked to La`au to count seals. On the walk we counted eight seals all together. We saw two male seals and one female seal that was pregnant, the rest were hard to identify. All the seals seen that day were an average of 150-300 pounds, and ages of pre-adult and younger. The monk seals were spread far away from each other on the beach and seen singely, none of the seals were seen close together. Also the seals seemed really relaxed, Kawelo and Micah could get close enough to check for tags and gender and the seals showed no agression, so they were pretty chillaxed on the beach.

My conclusion to this is that we should do everything we can to help save the seals. The seals can’t stand up for themselves so we should be their voice; therefore I support the critical habitat for the Hawaiian Monk Seals.

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