- View from a distance. Use binoculars or your camera’s zoom for a close up.
- Do no disturb sea turtles or monk seals sleeping on the beach.
- Never touch, chase, or feed. Animals are wild, unpredictable, and protected.
- Limit viewing time to a few minutes.
- Never swim with spinner dolphins—they rest and nurture their young during the day.
- View dolphins and whales from a boat or from shore.
- View from at least 10 feet (3 meters)—on land and in water.
Hawaiian monk seals
- Stay behind any signs or barriers.
- Use the "rule of thumb" to determine a safe distance (if no signs or barriers are present)
- Make a "thumbs up" gesture and extend your arm straight in front of you.
- Turn your thumb parallel to the ground in your line of sight of the seal.
- If your thumb covers the entire seal, you are far enough away (about 50 feet or 15 meters).
- Stay back at least 50 yards (45 meters).
- Do no approach within 100 yards—federal law.
NOAA Statewide Hotlines for marine animal emergencies (sea turtles/seals/dolphins/whales): 1-888-256-9840. If you see a sick, injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal or sea turtle, immediately contact your local stranding network.
For illegal or suspicious activity, call 1-800-853-1964 or (808) 643-DLNR (3567). Email photos and videos to RespectWildlife@noaa.gov.