The Caribbean monk seal was a subspecies of monk seal, described as being curious and unafraid of humans. These qualities did not serve them well when settlers arrived.
The Caribbean monk seal preferred to haul out at sandy beaches and lonely islands.
Soon after arriving in the Caribbean, European settlers began sending out regular hunting parties. The Caribbean monk seal provided a steady supply of oil for use with farm machinery.
As well as being hunted for food, the Caribbean monk seals suffered from a lack of food, due to overfishing in the Caribbean reef. This continued until their extinction in the mid 20th Century.