The Kauai Monk Seal Program is an entirely volunteer organization on Kauai whose sole mission is to sustain and enhance Hawaiian Monk Seals and their habitat by: providing management and monitoring, community participation, promoting environmental education, and cultural awareness. They rely on donations for their funding.
Guidelines for observing Monk Seals from KMSP website: www.kauaimonkseal.com
GUIDELINES FOR VIEWING HAWAIIAN MONK SEALS
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 30 – 35. Your help is vital to ensure their survival.
- ALWAYS report any seal harassment – at the beach, in the water, or from a boat operator – to the Kaua`i Marine Conservation Coordinator at 808-651-7668 or the local Police Dispatch at 808-241-6711.
- 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.
- 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.