Few experiences are as majestic as snorkeling or scuba diving and seeing a green sea turtle swimming next to you underwater. However, if you visited Hawaii in the 1970's and early 80's, they were hard to find. This was because they were hunted to the point of being listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1978.
The turtles – known as “honu” in Hawaiian – received this protection following decades of commercial exploitation that caused their population to plummet, and the failure of a Hawaii state law passed in 1974 to reverse the decline.
Today, It is illegal to touch, harass, feed, hunt, capture or kill the turtles.
Wherever you go to spot turtles, whether sunning on a beach or in the ocean, please remember to respect these wonderful, wild animals. This includes being sure to avoid feeding them or swimming above above them, as this can prevent them from surfacing for air.