Safety concerns prompt state to move Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai

(NOAA Permit 16632-01)

A 10-month-old Hawaiian monk seal was moved for her protection on Kauai.

The monk seal, RH92, was staying at Lihi canal in Kapaa.

NOAA Fisheries and DLNR official determined that the monk seal’s safety was at risk living in the area where two other juvenile seals died in 2014 and 2016. Necropsies conducted on the seals determined that they died from drowning with fishing gear as the most likely cause.

Seals are likely attracted to the canal by fish scraps from fisherman. Discarding of fish scraps is considered littering and is prohibited under Hawaii state law.

Officials want to remind the public that Hawaii state rules allow the following activities in Lihi canal:

  • Fishing with one line with no more than two hooks.
  • Crabbing with no more than 10 nets of less than 2 feet in diameter.
  • Catching shrimp for bait with a hand net of not more than 3 feet in any dimension.
  • Fish pond owners/operators and commercial marine fishers can be licensed to take small fish and baitfish with an attended net.

All other fishing activities are prohibited.

RH92 was fitted with a satellite tag to track her movements before she was released back into the wild.

RH92 was born on May 23, 2016 at Larsen’s Beach on the north shore of Kauai. She stayed in that area until the end of 2016.

(NOAA Permit 16632-01)

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