Many residents and visitors of Hawaiʻi enjoy encounters with wild spinner dolphins in the sandy bays of the islands. What some aren’t aware of is that these pods of dolphins, even though they seem to be awake and playful, are actually resting. Spinner dolphins are nocturnal, foraging in deep offshore waters for fish and small crustaceans and resting in nearshore sandy bays during the day.
With an increase in marine tourism and coastal populations in Hawaiʻi, the pressure on these animals is also increasing, possibly effecting the dolphin’s health and behaviors. NOAA is seeking new regulations on swimming with wild spinner dolphins to alleviate some of the stress. These regulations are expected to be proposed in June.
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