Hawaiian monk seals face a variety of threats across the Hawaiian Archipelago. The more remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) are home to about 1,100 seals or over 75 percent of the population. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), primary threats to their recovery in this area include entanglement in marine debris, shoreline habitat loss, food limitation, shark predation on seal pups and male seal aggression on females and pups. In the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) where a smaller population of about 300 seals can be found, major threats include fishery interactions, disease, and direct human-seal interactions.Unisex design
Adjustable from 2-5" in diameter
Supports the Marine Mammal Center, which operates a hospital and education center specifically for Hawaiian monk seals.
Stainless Steel 4Ocean Charm
1 Pound of Trash will be removed from the ocean and coastlines
The accumulation of marine debris, especially discarded fishing gear, is relentless in Hawaiian monk seal habitats. The number of seals found entangled remains mostly the same each year. Lost, abandoned, and intentionally discarded fishing gear comprise some of the most substantial entanglement threats.
Marine debris can become wrapped around the seals’ flippers or necks. Some animals drown when they become trapped under water. Others sustain serious injuries that can become infected and result in the loss of a flipper or their life.
Low-lying atolls are places where Hawaiian monk seals go to rest, mate, give birth, and care for their pups. Storm erosion and sea level rise, often associated with climate change, threaten these atolls and are diminishing the terrestrial habitats these seals rely on for survival. Some habitat loss has already been observed, including the disappearance of East Island and Whale-Skate Island in the French Frigate Shoals of the NWHI.
In the NWHI, monk seal pups must compete for food with large populations of apex predators like sharks. Climate change, overfishing, and regular cyclical changes impact the productivity of the ecosystem of which Hawaiian monk seals are a part. It often leads to limited food intake by pups, which also contributes to population declines. In fact, Hawaiian monk seal pups in the French Frigate Shoals have just a 1 in 5 chance of surviving to adulthood.
A small but growing population of Hawaiian monk seals in the MHI use popular recreational beaches to “haul out” (or rest) and molt. Females are also pupping in these areas more frequently. Human disturbances can interfere with these natural events and pose harm to monk seals and their pups.
Intentional feeding and other direct interactions, such as swimming with seal pups, is a growing concern among Hawaiian monk seal populations in the MHI. The seals become conditioned to the presence of humans, which can cause dangerous behavioral shifts.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal Bracelet supports The Marine Mammal Center, which operates a hospital and education center specifically for Hawaiian monk seals. It’s called Ke Kai Ola, which means “The Healing Sea.”
Young pups are rehabilitated at Ke Kai Ola so they can be returned to the wild for a second chance. Ke Kai Ola is also a place where children and the community learn to care for this beautiful and vital marine mammal and the ocean environment we all share.
Together, we’re promoting the recovery of Hawaiian monk seals through a science-based rehabilitation program, volunteer response network, and coordinated education and outreach programs that inspire the local community to protect, care for and ensure a lasting future for this endangered species.
By purchasing a purple Hawaiian Monk Seal Bracelet, you’ll remove one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. You’ll also support The Marine Mammal Center’s efforts to protect Hawaiian monk seals and restore their population.