Fishermen urged to report hooked Hawaiian seals
HONOLULU (AP) - State and federal officials are asking fishermen to quickly call a hotline when they see a hooked or entangled Hawaiian monk seal.
Authorities have responded to 13 seal hookings so far this year, including three that killed seals.
Federal and state monk seal responders were able to remove the hooks in seven of the cases because people reported the hookings early. One seal removed the hook itself. Another seal is still hooked but alive.
The most recent hooking involved the seal RK54, who swallowed a hook, became entangled in a fishing line and died. His carcass as found near Kauai's Ninini lighthouse last Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hotline for reporting hooked or entangled seals is 1-888-256-9840.
Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species.
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