Moloka‘i Lawmaker “Beyond Upset” at Recent Monk Seal Deaths

August 2, 2018, 7:11 AM HST · Updated August 2, 8:41 AM
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Hawaiian Monk Seal, RJ42. PC: NOAA Fisheries.

Representative Lynn DeCoite said she is “beyond upset” at the recent deaths of three Hawaiian monk seals on Molokai. This brings the total deaths believed to be from human inflicted trauma on Molokaʻi to eight, since 2009.

“ALL marine life is important to not only our way of life but to our marine ecosystems across the state. From a cultural and personal standpoint, I am truly saddened that some individuals feel that hurting these animals is somehow ‘ok’ – it is not, and it is not pono,” said Rep. DeCoite.

Rep. DeCoite, who’s district includes the Friendly Isle said, “As Hawaiians, we are taught from an early age to respect the ocean and all of its creatures, even those of us who fish and depend on the ocean to feed our families- know that we need to thank the ocean for providing us with nourishment and respect all of our marine creatures.”

With fewer than 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals remaining in the wild, efforts are underway to protect the critically endangered species.

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Investigations are also underway by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help identify the people responsible.

“I have already been in contact with DNLR and NOAA to address these situations and hope to get more clarity and information for our community soon,” said Rep. DeCoite.  “I hope that community members on Molokai, and across the state, will work with DLNR/DOCARE and NOAA in helping to identify the people responsible. It is all of our responsibilities to do the right thing,” she said.

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