HONOLULU — An unprecedented number of Hawaiian monk-seal deaths on the island of Moloka‘i this year has law-enforcement officers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement and state Department of Land and Natural Resource Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement investigating.
On Sunday, Sept. 19, people reported a young female seal dead on the south shore of Moloka‘i. She was identified by a temporary bleach mark on her side as “L11,” one of the pups born on the island in 2020.
There have been six seals found dead on Moloka‘i this year. The carcass of L11 was sent to O‘ahu and is currently frozen as COVID-19 conditions in Hawai‘i preclude NOAA Fisheries from conducting an immediate post-mortem examination. An exam will be conducted as soon as possible.
The joint federal and state investigation into the latest death and the others is continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call 800-853-1964 or the DOCARE hotline at 643-DLNR, or use the free DLNRTip app. Reports can be anonymous.