The gentle waters that lap upon Maui’s shores are alive with wildlife like humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles. They are considered endangered species and are protected by federal laws. Dolphins and other whales — though not endangered — also are protected by the MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT.
1. View from a distance: Consider binoculars.
2. Stay at least 100 yards from humpback whales, 50 yards from dolphins and monk seals.
3. It is legal for an animal to approach you, but it is against the law for you to approach, chase, surround, touch or swim with marine mammals.
4. Do not harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal.
5. Limit observation time to 30 minutes.
6. 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 (800-853-1964). For more information, check with the HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY in Kīhei (808-879-2818), the NOAA/NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE in Honolulu (808-725-5000), the DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES in Honolulu (808-587-0400) or hawaiibeachsafety.com.