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> HWF donors raise $5K for monk seal hospital
  A Place of Healing: Celebrating the Opening of Ke Kai Ola
Sick and injured Hawaiian monk seals will get a second chance at survival thanks to The Marine Mammal Center's new Hawaiian monk seal hospital, Ke Kai Ola © The Marine Mammal Center(The Healing Sea), which is dedicated to the rescue and care of this critically endangered species.
   On September 2, HWF President Hannah Bernard and Megan Lamson, HWF’s Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Recovery Team Coordinator, attended the Center Grand Opening celebration and blessing at the $3.2 million facility, which includes two pens and pools for monk seal pups and two larger pools for juvenile seals, as well as a medical lab, offices, food prep kitchen and education pavilion. > Read more

> Fish Facts: The problem with plastic
  Most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind
PLASTIC is the predominant type of man made debris found in today's rivers and oceans, with between 60 and 80 percent of all marine debris today comprised of petroleum-based plastics.
   This is despite the fact that plastic pollution is only a relatively recent phenomenum. Rafts of floating plastic at sea began to be reported in the scientific literature in the early 1970s but in the 40 years since, the problem has reached the far corners of the global oceans. Sure, the most obvious visible plastic pollution is inshore, such as those rafts of flotsam seen on our beaches and intertidal areas after flood events. However, recent science is showing this is only the tip of the iceberg and most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind.
 > Read entire article at FishingWorld.com

> Species of new coral seen off South Kona coast
January 30, 2014 - West Hawaii Today
A research team with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources has discovered off the South Kona coast a species of coral new to the main Hawaiian Islands.
   In a release issued Wednesday, the DLNR reported that team members came across a large number of coral colonies they had never encountered before while doing reconnaissance scuba dives in April along the South Kona coast.

Species of coral new to Hawaii seen off South Kona coast
HWF's project coordinator Megan Lamson, who also works as a technician with Division of Aquatic Resources, was one of the scientific divers that discovered this new Acropora species.
   "These robust finger-like colonies didn't even look like they were related to any other corals in the vicinity of the main islands," the release stated.
   The team returned the next day to photograph and document the colonies, and tentatively identified the species as Acropora gemmifera.
   The species is common in shallow, tropical reef environments in the Red Sea, Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the central and western Pacific, but there are few records from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It can be found, however, at Johnston Atoll, approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.
   The colonies vary in color from tan and brown to green, blue and purple, according to the release. "Not only is this the first record of A. gemmifera in the main Hawaiian Islands, it's the first record of any Acropora species occurring around the island of Hawaii," the release reads.
 > Read entire article at West Hawaii Today
 > Related journal article (pdf)

> Green turtle in Hawaii could lose status
  Federal government considering downgrading protection
   In August 2012, the NMFS initiated a year-long status review of green turtles and has been soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this species and potential critical habitat from any interested party. Hawaii Wildlife Fund submitted testimony in Hawaiian Legislative session, asking the government to protect marine resources.
   "While we have seen a significant increase in green turtles in Hawaiian waters and on our beaches, all threats must be considered before a species can be delisted," said HWF President Hannah Bernard. Through its Honu Watch Project, HWF is actively engaged in assisting in the recovery of this species, both in water and on land, and will continue to be involved in management of their welfare whether or not they are delisted.
   "The consequences of the proposed delisting encompass multi-faceted cultural, scientific, emotional and sociological levels and should be approached with an open mind and respect for everyone involved," said HWF's Vice President Cheryl King. "My perspective comes from researching and protecting sea turtles since 1996 and conducting my Master's thesis on Kaho'olawe's sea turtle population. The goal of all management actions should be to perpetuate the species so they can continue to fulfill their important ecological role and for future generations to experience," she added.
   Background: A petition was filed with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in July 2012, requesting that the Hawaiian population of the green turtle be considered a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and that it be delisted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The green turtle was listed under the ESA in 1978 as "threatened," which means it is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
 > Read NOAA Notice Document

> Report hooked Hawaiian monk seals
  Maui TV News 'talks story' about efforts to help seals
   May 8, 2013 - Maui TV News

Maui TV News video on recent efforts to help Hawaiian monk seals.
Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Group Hotline: 888-256-9840

> Law & Order: Endangered Species Unit
  Monk Seal killings could be retaliation to conservation efforts
   May 12, 2013 - New York Times

Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo: Peter Bohler for The New York Times

> Preserving Hawaii's False Killer Whales
  Action is being taken to preserve a rare Hawaiian creature

   September 2010 - Honolulu-Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine

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Hawai'i Wildlife Fund    •   PO Box 790637 Paia, HI 96779   •   808.280.8124    •   wild@aloha.net   •   http://wildhawaii.org
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