Where Did We Go Wrong?
“The oceans deserve our respect and care, but you have to know something before you can care about it.” – Sylvia Earle
American marine biologist and author Sylvia Earle e xplored the globe for National Geographic for years and has seen firsthand how oceans around the world have become degraded and destroyed by human activities.
More than 40 percent of t he world’s oceans have been heavily affected by our - ing, coastal development, pollution and abuse of our precious natural resources.
Sadly, we’re not immune to this inexcusable behavior in Hawai‘i. Despite being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, we’re seeing more examples of ignorance and a lack of respect for our Hawaiian waters and the marine life that call it home.
Our grandparents would be embarrassed and saddened to read the recent headlines:
“Kaua‘i man sentenced to four years for harassing pregnant monk seal.”
“New report raises concerns
“Turtle found slaughtered on O‘ahu’s North Shore.”
“Maui men arrested for seal assault.”
On Sept. 29, Maui police responded to Front Street in Lahaina, where witnesses reported seeing two men approach a monk seal that was sleeping on the shoreline and attempted to push it back into the water. One of the men allegedly kicked the seal.
Thir t y - e i g h t - y e a r - o l d Lucas Meister and 21-yearold Daniel Davison, both of Lahaina, were found nearby and arrested. Both men were charged. Their bail was set at
Who does something like this? Where’s the respect and where did we go wrong?
And it’s not just destructive behavior on display. Greed is driving many people. We are literally stealing opportunities from our children and their future by destroying our fragile resources.
- we are overharvesting other species at an alarming rate, taking more than we need or can even eat.
One of t hose creatures disappearing off our rocks is a local delicacy and cult urally i mportant species measure, but former Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed it, saying there was no science to prove a statewide ban was a ban would encourage a black market.
That was 11 years ago. Since then, lawmakers have considered several measures and possession restrictions, including setting bag limits, banning equipment and placing moratoriums on gathering, all with the intent of re
But like our monk seals, green sea turtles, we can have hundreds of laws in the books
Marine life such as Kaimana, the monk seal pup pictured at her new secret home, must be respected and protected.