Dlnr News Release: Post-mortem Exams Reveal Two Hawaiian Monk Seals Likely Drowned In Lay Nets
Three Seals Found Dead in Anahola Area Late Last Year
HONOLULU, HI (STL.News) It’s believed drowning is the likely cause of death of at least two of three Hawaiian monk seals found dead on Kaua‘i last September, November, and December.
Constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic delayed completion of post-mortem examinations. However, considering recently received lab test results and information gathered by law enforcement officials, NOAA now believes the seals found in September and November likely died after becoming entangled in lay gill nets. The third seal was severely decomposed, making it difficult to determine the cause of death.
While the vast majority of fishers in Hawaii continue to practice safe, sustainable, and pono fishing methods, some continue to fish recklessly, with devastating impact on native and endangered species. This is particularly common with lay gill net fishers.
DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) rules require that a gill net used in the lay net fishing method not be left unattended for more than ½ hour after being set and should be physically checked in its entirety two hours after its initial set.