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“What Happens to Them, Happens to Us”

April 27, 2012

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The Hawaiian Monk Seal is a critically endangered marine mammal that is endemic to Hawaii. At this time there is believed to be only about 1,000 left. Over the past several months, there have been intentional killings of monk seals. In response to this, the following is a press release issued by the Aloha Kanaloa Coalition:

APRIL 26, 2012


Honolulu, Hawai`i – In response to the series of “suspicious” Hawaiian monk seal deaths in Hawai`i, a group of concerned citizens and organizations have stepped up efforts to educate the public about the plight of the critically endangered marine mammal. The group, identified as the Aloha Kanaloa Coalition ( ) recently released a public service announcement video aimed at raising awareness about the critical status of the monk seal.

“The purpose of the PSA was to remind people that our Hawaiian kūpuna Kū`ulakai taught us the importance of sharing,” said Walter Ritte, Hawaiian community activist and coalition member. “We need to share our ocean resources with the seals. What happens to them happens to us.”

UH Professor and coalition member Jon Osorio agrees. “These are truly senseless killings. Kanaka who are pono do not kill for nothing. The pressures of a global market and local economic difficulties are making people behave in inexcusable ways and we must return to a more restrained and responsible lifestyle.”

While only recently formed, the group sees its recent success in the production of its PSA as a sign of its potential. “The public service announcement is a demonstration of how powerful and effective community can be when it comes together,” said Koa Kaulukukui, coalition member and PSA coordinator. “We hope to use the momentum of the PSA video to develop more opportunities to educate people about the value and importance of our Hawaiian monk seals.”

The Aloha Kanaloa Coalition currently consists of over a dozen individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The group anticipates that with the latest act of violence, more individuals and organizations are likely to come forward to join the effort to support Hawaiian monk seal education and recovery.

Individuals or organizations interested in joining the coalition are encouraged to visit the coalition’s website: or contact the coalition at . The PSA is also available for viewing on the website. It can also be downloaded for viewing and distribution at the following link:

The Aloha Kanaloa Coalition currently includes KAHEA: The Hawaiian – Environmental Alliance, the Conservation Council for Hawai`i, The Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, The Marine Conservation Institute, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Moloka`i Community Service Council, Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light, and other organizations and individuals.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. J.Toots Ka'ahanui permalink
    April 27, 2012 9:58 am

    How ignorant some people can be? If you’re Hawaiian and killing the Monk Seals..Shame on you, you’re not from Hawaii. these animals should be Protected where if one is caught destroying this Endangered Creature for whatever reason…you should be set adrift on a wooden pallet far out to sea.

    • Pacific Island Ranger permalink*
      April 27, 2012 3:19 pm

      Unfortunately, things like this are happening around the planet. Once a species goes extinct, that’s it. It all goes back to each one of us realizing that it is our own personal kuleana (responsibility) to make sure we protect our wildlife.

      Harming a Hawaiian Monk Seal is both a state and federal offence.

  2. Stephen Melinger permalink
    April 30, 2012 5:43 am

    There is no excuse for allowing these wonderful animals to become extinct. The balance of nature demands we protect them. They are all gods creatures. When humans are in danger who will be left to save us?

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