Help Protect Maui’s Magnificent Marine AnimalsMaui
The gentle waters that lap upon Maui’s shores are alive with wildlife. Some of these animals, like humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles, are considered endangered species and are protected by federal laws. Dolphins and other whales—though not endangered—are also protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Hawai‘i’s marine animals are fascinating and easily observed creatures. During the winter humpback season, it’s common to see 40-ton whales with 15-foot pectoral fins breaching offshore, and resident spinner dolphins can be spotted flashing through the surf any day. Giant green sea turtles make a habit of feeding near shore, and occasionally, a critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, sometimes with a pup, will lounge on the beach, basking in the sun much like you.
Please observe these rules and guidelines when viewing marine wildlife:
• View froma distance. Consider binoculars.
• Stay at least 100 yards from humpback whales, 50 yards from dolphins and monk seals.
• It is legal for an animal to approach you, but it is against the law to approach, chase, surround, touch or swim with marine mammals.
• Do not harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal.
• Limit observation time to 30 minutes.
• Feeding marine mammals is prohibited under federal law. Laws are enforced, illegal activities are prosecuted and fines are administered.
To report suspected violations, call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. For more information, check with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Kihei (1-800-831-4888), the NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service in Honolulu (1-808-973-2937) or the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Honolulu (1-808-587-5404).