No citations or arrests have been made three days into around-the-clock enforcement of a barrier at Kaimana Beach protecting Hawaiian monk seal Rocky and her pup, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has reported.
On Wednesday, DLNR announced that it would cite or arrest anyone who violated a 50-yard cordon around the two seals, who have been at the beach since Rocky gave birth to her pup about a month ago at the beach. The seals will leave when the pup, a male named PO8, weans in about two to three weeks.
The DLNR today said that volunteers from Hawaii Marine Animal Response moved the cordon this morning when the seals, who had spent most of the morning in the water, moved back to Kaimana Beach to rest.
“No one on the beach seemed to mind the need to move their bags, umbrellas, beach chairs, and water toys,” the land department said in a news release.
DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers began 24-hour enforcement on Thursday. On Saturday, two officers on patrol watercraft kept watch near the beach, occasionally warning swimmers from a semi-circle zone around Rock and her pup.
DLNR enforcement was prompted by a number of encounters between people the two seals, including a woman who was bitten by Rocky on July 24 while swimming near the seals. The DLNR said that it had “received numerous reports of beachgoers and ocean-users ignoring guidance about safe viewing distances and in some cases disrespected volunteers who asked them to stay back.”
DOCARE will enforce the barrier until Rocky’s pup weans.