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Habitat
Off the shores of Hawaii you will be entering into a world that you may not be accustomed to. Safety is the first consideration. Safety for you as well as for the marine environment. Before entering the water, watch the waves, notice their pattern and enter when the waves are at their lowest ebb. Remember this guideline upon exiting the water as well.
Please do not touch ANYTHING. The coral is quite sharp and can easily cut through fleash. Coral is also sensitive to touch. DO NOT stand on coral. This can harm and even kill the coral. Coral is the foundation of a healthy marine eco system. It takes about one year for one inch of coral to grow.

 

About the Dolphins

Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are nocturnal offshore feeders and use our sheltered bays and shorelines as daytime resting areas. Please honor their use of all areas where you see them and behave as a respectful guest visiting the dolphin's home.

Regulation and Protection
Dolphins, and all marine mammals, are protected under federal law. The Marine Mammal Protection Act written in 1972 says that any act of harrassment is an enforceable offence. The marine Mammal Protection Act defines "harassment" as "any act of pursuit or annoyance which has the potential to disturb marine mammals in the wild by causing disruption of their behavioral patterns of migration, nursing, breeding, sheltering or resting/sleeping."

The Hawaii DLNR (Dept. of Land and Natural Resources) and NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) recommend that swimmers and boaters remain at least 50 yards away from the dolphins.

Swimming Guidelines
The basic rule of thumb to follow asks all swimmers and boaters to use common sense and courtesy. When dolphins are present, swim slowly and quietly. Look up from the water often to always know your location. Currents and tides can move you. Watch for boats and kayaks.

Please resist the urge to pursue, swim fast or agressively after the dolphins.
Pursuing or chasing after the dolphins will herd them away from you, is against the Marine Mammal Protection Act and can result in an expensive ticket.

If you should encounter dolphins while swimming or boating, please observe the following guidelines and practice being a respectful visitor.

Allow the dolphins to approach you.
Allow all dolphin activity and interaction to be initiated by them.

Be aware and sensitive to the dolphins behavior.
Dolphins have moods like we do. Sometimes they are sociable and sometimes not. Take your cue from their behavior. Respect their habitat. Honor their space and behavioral mode. If they are resting or traveling, please respect that they may choose not to interact with you.

Consider your own timing.
Many times there are small numbers of dolphins and many people in the water. It may be better to enter the water at a later time when there are less people. If the dolphins have given you quality time and have moved on to another location, honor that and thank them for the time you have had rather than pursuing them.

Swim slowly with your arms at your sides.
Sudden arm movements or reaching toward them will frighten or startle them and they will move away. Resist the urge to try to touch them. Touch the dolphins with your heart not your hands.

Be mindful of other swimmers.
Watch where you are going. Refrain from cutting in front of others in your eagerness to get closer to the dolphins. If you see someone having an intimate connection with the dolphins, give them their space. You wouldn't want another swimmer to disrupt your close connection with the dolphins.

Leave foreign objects ashore.
This includes things such as string leis, plastics, bags, rope, and play toys which can be harmful to marine mammals and other sea life.

Trust in nature's food supply.
To attempt to feed wild dolphins is detrimental to their health as well as their social behavior.

Honor your limits.
If the water is too rough or too deep, or the dolphins are too far out, don't go swimming.
If you are worried or afraid about going out, don't go. Your safety is the number one priority.

 

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