Protected Resources


Laws and Policies

The Protected Resouces Division is mandated by several laws and policies to protect endangered and threatened marine species. These include the following:

Marine Wildlife Viewing Guidelines

The Protected Resources Division also promotes Responsible Marine Wildlife Viewing and offers the following guidelines. These guidelines do not replace Federal or state law. Pursuit and feeding of marine mammals is prohibited by Federal law.

  1. Remain at least 100 yards from humpback whales, and at least 50 yards from other marine mammals (dolphins, other whale species, and Hawaiian monk seals).
  2. Observe turtles from a distance.
  3. Bring binoculars along on viewing excursions to assure a good view from the recommended viewing distances.
  4. Do not attempt to touch, ride, or feed turtles or marine mammals.
  5. Limit your time observing an animal to 1/2 hour.
  6. Marine mammals and sea turtles should not be encircled or trapped between boats or shore.
  7. If approached by a marine mammal or turtle while on a boat, put the engine in neutral and allow the animal to pass. Boat movement should be from the rear of the animal.