Aquatic Resources

The recent project aimed at eradicating invasive rats from the State of Hawai‘i’s Seabird Sanctuary on Lehua Island is the subject of a half-hour long TV documentary that chronicles the operation from beginning to end. Scheduled for broadcast on KFVE-TV (K5) on Saturday, Oct. 21st and Sunday, Oct. 22nd at 9:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively, the program was produced by DLNR with support from the Lehua Island Restoration Steering Committee; the group of government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, and other supporters involved in the eradication of rats.

This morning NOAA Fisheries, the U.S Coast Guard, Kauai County Fire and Police Departments and the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) joined concerned community members and native Hawaiian cultural practitioners to respond to a beaching event and attending to two Pilot whales that died on Kalapaki Beach on the north side of Nawiliwili Harbor.

Early morning visitors to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in East Oahu were delighted to see a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach. At first, it was thought the seal might be “Rocky,” the female who pupped a seal on Kaimana Beach over the summer, prompting worldwide media attention for mom and her precocious pup. Since Rocky has never been tagged, volunteers and staff from Hawai’i Marine Animal Response (HMAR) now say they can’t be sure of this seals identity.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has scheduled statewide public hearings on proposed administrative rule amendments that would increase the annual commercial marine license fees from the current $50/year to $100/year initially, then to $150/year on January 1, 2018. This date may be delayed until later in the year, depending on when the rules are approved. The proposed rules also would establish a reporting deadline for dealers who buy marine life directly from commercial fishers.

The monk seal pup (RJ58), named Kaimana, who became a public and media darling after being born on the popular Waikiki beach of the same name was hooked on Labor Day. Volunteers from Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response spotted her around noon with a hook with a lure hanging from her mouth. They’d seen her two hours earlier without a hook.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has long issued annual commercial and recreational aquarium fish permits, pursuant to HRS §188-31 and administrative rules, authorizing the use of fine meshed traps or nets to take aquatic life for aquarium purposes. On Wednesday, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled that aquarium collection using fine meshed traps or nets is subject to the environmental review procedures provided in the Hawai‘i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA). The issue has been remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Island Conservation, and other Lehua Island Restoration Project partners became aware of social media posts, photos and video that show dead fish or birds that posters claim were killed by a rodenticide currently being used to eradicate non-native, damaging (invasive) rats from the island. However unlikely the connection, the project partners take any potential risks to non-target species and marine life, extremely seriously.

(Honolulu) – The now famous Hawaiian monk seal pup who spent the past 44 days on busy Kaimana Beach in Waikiki was successfully relocated by a team of expert handlers and veterinarians this morning.  Named ‘Kaimana’, the young seal weaned from her mother ‘Rocky’ midday Friday.

(Honolulu)  - For several hours this afternoon, ‘Rocky’ the mother of the Hawaiian monk seal pup ‘Kaimana’ has not been spotted at Kaimana Beach.  This may indicate that Rocky has weaned her pup, but it’s too soon to know for sure.  

The Hawaiian monk seal pup, PO3, born on O‘ahu’s Kaimana Beach in late June will be relocated to a remote, undisclosed shoreline area where she can continue her natural growth as a wild seal with less human interaction and other hazards. The decision to move the seal was made following extensive discussion and analysis by experts, managers and scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries); the DLNR Chair’s Office and its Divisions of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE). Other agencies involved in managing public and seal safety during its time at Kaimana include the City and County (C&C) of Honolulu Emergency Services Department, Division of Ocean Safety and Life Guard Services, C&C Dept. of Parks and Recreation, the Honolulu Mayor’s Office; and Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response (HMAR).

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