The Hawaiian islands are a place full of natural wonder, and visitors come from around the world to enjoy the pristine beaches and see wildlife—with some species found nowhere else in the world. In Hawaii, protected marine animals can be found swimming, eating, and even sleeping near people.
These animals are protected under federal laws like the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. For your safety and theirs, do not touch or harass turtles, seals, whales, or dolphins. When viewing them, maintain a safe distance.
This video has handy guidelines for safe viewing distances for different species—including sea turtles—along with some advice from personnel with our Office of Law Enforcement and Pacific Islands Regional Office. In the Hawaiian language, “kōkua” means to help or support. So please kōkua, and share the shore.