WHEREAS, the Hawaiian monk seal was listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as endangered on 23 November 1976; and,
WHEREAS, the present population of this seal is approximately 1,200 to 1,400 seals, a number at least 50% below the population in the late 1950's; and,
WHEREAS, the Critical Habitat established on 30 May 1986 by the National Marine Fisheries Service extends only to the 10 fathom isobath; and,
WHEREAS, it is established that monk seals feed mainly on epibenthic fish and invertebrates and dive and probably feed at depths of up to 80 fathoms; and,
WHEREAS, the establishment of the Critical Habitat did not include the important Maro Reef feeding area; and,
WHEREAS, the Marine Mammal Commission and the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team have recommended that the Critical Habitat of this endangered seal include Maro Reef and at least the 20 fathom isobath,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists urges the National Marine Fisheries Service to adopt the recommendations of the Marine Mammal Commission and the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team and expand the Critical Habitat of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal to include Maro Reef and all the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to at least the 20 fathom isobath.