HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Land and Natural Resources say monk seal pup Kaimana is doing fine after a being stuck with a fishing hook in her mouth.
Volunteers have been monitoring the nearly two and a half-month-old seal since her birth earlier this summer. They first spotted the hook and a lure dangling from her mouth around noon Friday.
The monk seal response team from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Services was called to remove the hook, which luckily, wasn't stuck too deeply. But before the team could get to Kaimana, she had shaken the hook and lure free from her mouth.
Crews evaluated Kaimana and found only a small wound with no signs of infection.
Volunteers believe Kaimana was hooked on Labor Day.
State officials are using this as a reminder to fishermen to fish responsibly by making all efforts possible to retrieve all gear, and reduce the amount of fishing debris left behind.
They also encourage the use of barbless circle-hooks to reduce the risk of other animals getting hooked.
"Between 1976 and 2016, there have been 155 documented hooking's and entanglements in gill nets, which resulted in 12 monk seal deaths," the DLNR said.
If you come across an entangled or hooked seal, you are asked to call 888-256-9840 for help.