HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii authorities on Tuesday say they’ve referred 33 individuals to U.S. regulation enforcement after the group allegedly harassed a pod of untamed dolphins in waters off the Large Island.
It is towards federal regulation to swim inside 50 yards (45 meters) of spinner dolphins in Hawaii’s nearshore waters. The prohibition went into impact in 2021 amid considerations that so many vacationers have been swimming with dolphins that the nocturnal animals weren’t getting the remaining they want throughout the day to have the ability to forage for meals at night time.
The rule applies to areas inside 2 nautical miles (3.7 kilometers) of the Hawaiian Islands and in designated waters surrounded by the islands of Lanai, Maui and Kahoolawe.
The state Division of Land and Pure Assets mentioned in a information launch that its enforcement officers came across the 33 swimmers in Honaunau Bay on Sunday throughout a routine patrol.
Aerial footage shot by drone reveals snorkelers following dolphins as they swim away. The division mentioned its video and pictures confirmed swimmers “who look like aggressively pursuing, corralling and harassing the pod.”
Enforcement officers contacted the group whereas they have been within the water, and instructed them concerning the violation. Uniformed officers met the swimmers on land the place state and federal officers launched a joint investigation.
Hawaii’s spinner dolphins feast on fish and small crustaceans that floor from the ocean’s depths at night time. When the solar rises, they head for shallow bays to cover from tiger sharks and different predators.
To the untrained eye, the dolphins look like awake throughout the day as a result of they’re swimming.
However as a result of they sleep by resting half of their brains and preserving the opposite half awake to floor and breathe, they could be sleeping even after they’re maneuvering by way of the water.