HONOLULU (KHON2) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said nearly 30% of monk seals alive today are due to conservation efforts by the organization and partners like The Marine Mammal Center.

That includes three monk seals that continue to recover after recent rescue efforts.

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Two of the seals were rescued from Laysan Island (Kamole) near the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and the third was a hooked seal from Molokai.

“Treating three young seals that were unlikely to survive the coming months without intervention, including one due to fishing gear interaction, are critical examples of why our work matters,” said Dr. Sophie Whoriskey, The Marine Mammal Center’s Hawaiian monk seal conservation veterinarian.

According to NOAA, due to the seals’ poor body condition, the two rescued from Laysan Island were unlikely to survive the winter season.

“As soon as we found the two pups at Kamole, we knew they needed help to survive,” said Dr. Michelle Barbieri, lead scientist for NOAA’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program.

While the seals’ health conditions continue to improve, Michelle said “we look forward to providing transport on their return to Papahānaumokuākea too, so that they can hopefully produce pups of their own someday.”

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NOAA said for the first time in more than 20 years, the seal population surpassed more than 1,500.