NOAA Fisheries via AP
Honolulu — US regulators on Tuesday banned swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins to protect nocturnal animals from those seeking close encounters with playful species.
Swimming with dolphins is a popular tourist activity in Hawaii. Some companies offer tours that take swimmers to areas that dolphins frequently visit, with the goal of giving them the opportunity to enter the water with their animals.
US Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations prohibit swimming or entering within 50 yards of spinner dolphins within 2 nautical miles of the major coasts of the Hawaiian Islands. This rule applies to boats, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, drones, or other objects.
Audrey McAvoy / AP
NOAA has also proposed regulations banning access to certain areas between 6 am and 3 pm on parts of the Big Island and Maui, which are considered essential daytime habitats for spinner dolphins. increase.
Spinner dolphins hunt offshore at night. During the day, they take advantage of optimal environmental conditions near the coast to socialize, raise young people, hide from predators and rest for night hunting.
Hawaiian spinner dolphins are named after the habit of jumping around in the air. Some scientists say that such behavior is not necessarily playful, but instead may be an attempt to warn others of danger.
Swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins is prohibited to protect animals: NPR
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