NOAA, National Geographic study Hawaiian monk seal diet - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

NOAA, National Geographic study Hawaiian monk seal diet

Dash Masland Dash Masland

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and National Geographic have teamed up to study the poop of Hawaiian monk seals.

Dash Masland won a $10,000 expedition contest hosted by National Geographic.

She chose the Hawaiian islands to do her work and will be investigating the diet of Hawaiian monk seals to determine the particular fish that the endemic seals eat.

Currently, there are a couple of different methods to conduct poop research.

"So what I'm going to do is I am going to come in and use a third type of analysis, which is using DNA from the poop to ask some really important dietary questions about the monk seals," Masland said. "Our greatest hope is that what the fishermen like to target and what the seals would like to target do not overlap."

Results from the study will be used to better manage and care for the Hawaiian monk seal population and the needs of the local fishing industry.

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