A new regulation protects Hawaiian spinner dolphins against disturbance. Starting on October 28th, NOAA Fisheries authorized the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It prohibits swimming with, approaching, or remaining within 50 yards of a Hawaiian spinner dolphin. The rule applies to all vessels, persons, or objects. An object is a boat, canoe, sup, drone or other means. Interception is also not allowed.
Hawaiian spinner dolphins need rest. They go out to the deep sea at night to hunt, they come back to the coast and protected bays in Hawaii to rest. Over the decades, spinner dolphins have received viewing pressure from commercial and recreational wildlife viewers seeking a close encounter. They are very charismatic.
You may still be able to get a close encounter if a spinner dolphin approaches you but tours that seek out dolphins are no longer allowed.
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