The gentle, lumbering PACIFIC GREEN SEA TURTLE makes its home in Hawaiian waters. These huge, threatened creatures, which can grow to 4 feet and weigh up to 400 pounds, feed on limu (seaweed) that grows on rocks in shallow areas. The turtles, known as honu in Hawaiian, are referred to as green not for the color of the algae growing on their backs, but for the color of their meat.
It’s common to get a look at a green sea turtle, but it is rare to come across the nearly extinct HAWAIIAN HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLE . While Hawai‘i’s green sea turtle population has shown good recovery in recent years, the Hawaiian hawksbill population is estimated at fewer than 30 nesting turtles. The Hawaiian hawksbill turtle is named for its sharp, beak-like mouth but is known for its beautiful exterior shell, which was exploited for “tortoise shell” for many years by the fashion industry.
A good way to get a look at a turtle is to paddle a kayak in KAILUA BAY , or head to TURTLE CANYON off Waikīkī beach. Turtle Canyon is accessible only by boat or kayak.
Be mindful that laws protect sea turtles. If you spot one, give it 10-15 feet of space, and allow room for it to surface and breathe. It’s against the law to approach, chase, surround, touch or swim with any protected marine mammal.
HAWAI‘I NAUTICAL 808-234-7245
NANI KAI OCEAN ADVENTURES 808-690-3475
TWOGOOD KAYAKS 808-262-5656