An industry has developed in Hawaii that takes tourists out to view and swim with spinner dolphins. In doing so, some of the tours are harassing these amazing animals, and encouraging their visitors to do so as well. I know, because I saw it with my own eyes. As the captain of a dolphin tour boat, I followed the law, and gave the animals the space they need. But unfortunately, not everyone respected the animals as they should have.
Spinner dolphins are nocturnal and need the daylight hours to recover and rest from their night-time hunts. In addition to resting they are nursing, birthing, socializing, mating and sheltering. The chronic disruption by the dolphin swim industry negatively impacts the health and fitness of individual dolphins and the strength of the pod.
In response, NOAA Fisheries is proposing new regulations under The Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) to provide local law enforcement with a more direct method of penalizing those who harass marine mammals in this way.
These rules are critically important to protect spinner dolphins! Sign my petition to help encourage NOAA and local federal leaders to support and prioritize these changes.
Share the petition to help raise awareness in the communities that see the vessels herding the dolphins endlessly day after day. This extends beyond the negligence of the captains and crews, it extends to the booking agents and advertisers. Everyone needs to know this is wrong. Please sign and share the petition.
Thank you. These dolphins urgently need our help. For more information, visit NOAA Questions and Answers.
Please finalize strong new regulations to ensure that spinner dolphins are not harrassed by tourists or tour companies. These amazing animals need our protection if they are to continue to thrive in these popular coastal areas, and it is up to NOAA to show the necessary leadership.