DLNR News Release-DOCARE Begins Around-the-Clock Presence for Monk Seals at Kaimana Beach

Posted on Apr 22, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

 (WAIKĪKĪ, O‘AHU) – Mother monk seal, Kaiwi, and her pup spent an hour and forty minutes in the water off Kaimana Beach this morning. This is the third day, since the pup’s birth, the pair have taken to the ocean.  


Emily Greene of Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response (HMAR) watched with dozens of spectators as mom and pup frolicked a little, but mostly stayed in a secluded area off the popular beach. Greene said, “I’m amazed they spent so much time in the ocean, and you could tell once they hauled back up to the beach they were pretty exhausted.” 


Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) were already on land and on personal watercraft (PWC) providing the first day of 24-overwatch for the seals. At a news briefing on Thursday, DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said his officers will help keep people safe by directing them away from where the seals are in the water. Anyone who ignores their directions could be cited or arrested, but that’s not expected to happen. 


All the paddlers and swimmers, officers encountered today, paid attention and traveled well away from the seals. As Kaiwi takes her pup on wider excursions and explorations, DOCARE officers, along with City and County lifeguards, and staff and volunteers from HMAR will continue educating beach goers about safe wildlife viewing protocols and safety zones in the ocean and on land. With increasing seal activity, people are strongly encouraged to go to other nearby beaches for ocean recreation. 


After Hawaiian monk seals have given birth at Kaimana Beach, four of the past six years, NOAA, DLNR, HMAR, the City and County of Honolulu Lifeguards and Ocean Safety Division and City and County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation, refined and expanded efforts this year to inform, educate, and enforce. 


The cordon (perimeter roping) on the beach covers the entire beach, except for a current ocean entrance next to the Natatorium. A DOCARE officer there, was directing people to safe access to the water. On PWC, other officers made sure people in the ocean knew where the seals were, and where to safely exit the water. 


A fourth officer joined Greene from HMAR on the seawall next to the Outrigger Canoe Club, where dozens of people had a good view of Kaiwi and her pup, without impacting their movements or behaviors. 


Several long-time, frequent visitors to Kaimana Beach, applauded the coordinated and expanded efforts by the agencies this year, saying the wider cordon along with the constant volunteer and law enforcement presence is making a big difference for both the seal’s well-being and people’s safety.  


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(All images and video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – Kaimana monk seals and DOCARE (April 22, 2023):


Photographs – Kaimana monk seals and DOCARE (April 22, 2023):


Media Contact: 

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

(808) 587-0396

[email protected]