Protecting Hawaii's Sea Life – Endangered Green Sea Turtles

Hosted by Dr. Dan Rubinoff from the University of Hawaii and Jim Kennedy, Malama Na Honu (Caring for the turtles)

Looking out from shore it can seem the ocean is endless and full of teeming life. But the fact is there are many species in Hawaii that need our protection, like sea turtles.

Honu is the Hawaiian word for green sea turtle. Green sea turtles often visit the North Shore of Oahu and can be seen eating limu (seaweed) on the rocks and basking in the sun, resting for about two to four hours. Getting too close can worry or frighten the turtles. Instead, show your respect. Let them sleep and keep a safe distance of six or seven feet when taking pictures.

It's not just the honu that need our respect. Dolphins, whales and seals should all be appreciated from a distance. Dolphins feed at night and sleep during the day. Swimming with them prevents them from getting the rest they need. Monk seals also sleep during the day. They need their rest to be alert at night when they are hunting for food and avoiding predators, so bothering them can literally endanger their lives.

The reef itself is made of thousands of tiny living animals called coral. Stepping on it or breaking off pieces kills off the reef and the creatures that depend on it.

How can you help preserve the honu and other sea life?

1. Keep a respectful distance from all the marine animals.
2. Don't feed the animals. They have their own diets.
3. Put trash in its place to keep the beaches clean and the animals safe.

Learn more about these unique islands and what you can do to protect them, visit the Department of Land and Natural Resources' website.