GUIDELINES FOR VIEWING HAWAIIAN MONK SEALS


Aloha and welcome to Kaua`i. As you visit our beaches, you may see one of the most critically endangered marine mammals on earth, the Hawaiian Monk Seal. Despite births in recent years, the estimated Kaua’i population is only about 40 - 45. Your help is vital to ensure their survival. Please read and print the following guidelines for observing seals.

ALWAYS stay well behind barricades or signs placed by hotel workers around a basking seal, and at least 150 feet from seals in unmarked areas.

REMEMBER to maintain a much greater distance from a mother and pup, or any seal that appears disturbed or agitated.

ALWAYS pass outside barricades, or above an unbarricaded seal, not between the seal and the shoreline.

REMEMBER that you should never approach or attempt to feed a seal – on the beach, while swimming, or from a boat.

ALWAYS view quietly. Do not throw sand, stones, objects, or make noise to induce movement and create photo ops.

REMEMBER all marine wildlife. Seals, sea turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales require distance, quiet, and respect for proper viewing.

ALWAYS photograph seals from the proper distance and never use flash photography in their presence.

REMEMBER children. Advise them of proper behavior. An agitated 400 to 600 pound animal could bite or cause other serious injury.

ALWAYS report any seal harassment – at the beach, in the water, or from a boat operator – to the Kaua`i Marine Conservation Coordinator at 651-7668 or the local Police Dispatch at 241-6711.

REMEMBER state and federal laws. Harassment or disturbance of a Hawaiian Monk Seal can incur fines exceeding $25,000 and up to 5 years imprisonment.

Enjoy these natural treasures of Kaua`i. Your respect for their well-being and survival will ensure their presence during your next visit and for generations to come. Mahalo, Kaua`i Monk Seal Watch Program.

 

*Local residents should remember that dogs present serious disease and injury threats to seals. Please keep your dogs leashed and well away from seals while at the beach.

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