In 2009, someone shot and killed a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal on the island of Kaua'i. NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement investigated the incident and brought the man responsible to justice. Nearly a decade later, when a different person posted onto Instagram videos of himself harassing a Hawaiian monk seal and a green sea turtle, NOAA OLE officers quickly jumped on the case.
NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship and conservation of national marine resources, including marine species protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. While the agency prefers to educate the public about these animals to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place, NOAA OLE will step in to enforce the laws when education is not enough.
The storymap below showcases some of the important cases that NOAA OLE (and its enforcement partners) in Hawai'i has handled. It will be updated occasionally to include new, important cases as they arise. These cases help ensure marine life in the Pacific Islands are around for future generations to enjoy.