Surprise Visitor!

On Tuesday (December 14, 2010), we had a surprise visitor join us for our benthic habitat survey!  Just as we were about to enter the water, to begin the survey, we spotted a Hawaiian monk seal frolicking in the water.  It was about 15 feet northeast of the Queen’s Surf Beach groin.  The monk seal only stayed for a few moments but did stay long enough to pose for a couple photos before leaving.

The Hawaiian monk seal is considered one of the most endangered of all seal species and is protected under two federal laws: the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Hawaiian monk seals usually inhabit the small islands northwest of the eight main Hawaiian islands; however, occasionally they can be spotted along the shores of the main Hawaiian islands, including right here in Waikīkī!  Check out this video for some great information about the Hawaiian monk seal.

4 Responses to “Surprise Visitor!”

  1. Check this video out to learn more about monk seals:

  2. I’ve encountered them on the beach in Waikiki before, but not in the water. Awesome!

  3. Very cool to see a monk seal while snorkeling! I, too, have only seen them upon the sand, napping in the sun… perhaps one day I will be blessed also! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’ve been privileged to see Hawaiian monk seals both while I was swimming in the ocean and observe them basking on the beach. Three HMS were intentionally killed in the Main Hawaiian Islands, so hopefully this video will educate people and the killings of this endangered species will stop!

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