Paintballs to deter monk seals? NOAA seeks feedback on marine mammal deterring methods

Hawaii News Now

Should people be able to use rubber bullets and even paintballs to deter Hawaiian monk seals from coming too close to fishing gear and property?

Those are some of the tactics NOAA wants to hear your feedback on.

The National Marine Fisheries service is proposing a rule in the federal registry on “Guidelines for Safely Deterring Marine Mammals.”

The Hawaii Marine Animal Response has already expressed their concerns with the proposals, saying in a social media post, “These proposed deterrence methods could make the existing desired Hawaiian monk seal interaction guidelines confusing for people who live and fish in Hawaii.”

They acknowledges such methods may be needed in other areas of the country, but it should not apply to the endangered Hawaiian monk seals.

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