We are a bit behind on keeping up this page and we have some exciting changes to share soon! 2018 was a busy year with 10 major research trips. Now that it's the "off" season, we are working tirelessly to write up our data and finalize our notes from our encounters as well as plan our educational outreach and research goals for the new season. We should have our page updated within the next few weeks.
Our last trip to Hawaii, our main focus was pilot whales and tiger sharks. While we found tiger sharks and bottlenose dolphins actively feeding on amberjacks, we also lucked out and found 2 monk seals. It's always special to see endangered Hawaiian monk seals in their natural environment. There are only around 1,100 seals left in the wild. This one pictured here was successful in capturing an amberjack for lunch, and decided to feed right next to our boat while we were motored down. Tom also captured this dip-cam video footage from the boat with our GoPro. Because monk seals are easily stressed, we were not swimming with or purposely approaching these endangered mammals. Instead, we kept our distance and enjoyed watching their natural behaviors from the boat. If you're fortunate enough to see Hawaiian monk seals in the wild, be respectful of their space and watch them from a safe distance. And report injured or ill seals as quickly as possible.
For more information on active research, follow the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program facebook page, and you can also purchase a 4ocean bracelet to help support ocean clean-up and monk seal conservation: