It is time for peace between the seals and humans on the Hawaiian island Molokai, but the war is not over yet. Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species with only about 1,100 left in the world. In the past decade another eight of the endangered Hawaiian monk seals were killed in an ongoing war over natural resources.
Oddly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are looking for a mediator to bring about resolution. I am trying to picture how that would work. Meanwhile, NOAA’s protected Resources Division has been gaining an understanding of the social, cultural and economic factors that made the monk seal a hate target.
Admittedly, the seals have been reportedly opportunistic, hanging around fishing boats to eat the fishermen’s catches, but there must be a way to co-exist. There is a pressurized competitive economy out there and people wonder why the animals get more protection from their government than the businessmen are getting.
This is not the only endangered species vs. humans conflict problem. Brown Pelicans in California are a protected species but humans who consider them a nuisance shoot, electrocute, or mutilate the birds. In Nevada, the Devil’s Hole pupfish is despised by local farmers who wish their rights mattered as much as the fish’s right seem to. The issue is not limited to the United States. It is worldwide. Perhaps the animals do need mediation protection, to help them survive until their voices can recognized.