Hawaiian Monk Seal Gets First New Recovery Plan in Nearly 25 Years

Monk seal populations are dropping 4% annually. Despite a recovery plan written in 1983, the number of Hawaiian monk seals has dropped to just 1,200, and biologists predict that could drop below 1,000 in the next few years.

A new recovery plan unveiled this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service hopes to turn that around. The plan includes extensive research which will help scientists to better understand the monk seal and its needs. A very active group of volunteers will help compile that research.

In a news release, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, who attended the recovery plan's signing ceremony, said: 

"The Hawaiian Monk Seal is the only species of seal in the world whose natural habitat is entirely contained within the borders of a single nation — the United States of America. As a nation, therefore, we bear a grave responsibility — a responsibility that falls most directly on us, here in Hawaii, who are closest to this most cherished of marine mammals... From direct observation and protection of Monk Seal populations, to careful surveys of their habitat, to the development of management principles to preserve their environment, the plan we announce today rests securely on a history of intense dedication and commitment."

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The new plan is a great start, but the Hawaiian Monk Seal Birthing-Area at Turtle Bay on Oahu’s scenic North Shore needs to be Preserved! Local residents are battling LA private-equity firm Oaktree Capital to stop their MEGA Development Project on 5 miles of pristine beach at Turtle Bay.
Turtle Bay is a refuge for some of Hawaii's unique wildlife and is the only place on Oahu Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals have given birth in the last 9 years.

Monk Seal "N7" gave birth and nursed her pup on the beach at Turtle Bay for 54 days. She picked the pristine beach at Turtle Bay, with its very safe inlet. The beach is especially gentle and protected there. If Oaktree Capital's massive project goes through and Turtle Bay is overrun with thousands of tourists and Oahu's Monk Seals will loose their safe birthing-area! This will forced the seals into other areas which could be more dangerous for her and her pups!
Oaktree Capital’s Environmental Impact Statement EIS is 21 years old!! But so far they have won in court! The community is scrambling and has founded “Keep the North Shore Country” to launch a legal appeal and “Defend Oahu” to raise community awareness. Local residents believe that Turtle Bay should be preserved as a Nature Preserve and Park to help preserve all Hawaii's Endangered Species and Hawaii's pristine beaches for future generations.

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