Swimming with spinner dolphins is prohibited. The animal rights turn, to protect small tropical cetaceans beloved by tourists, comes from Hawaii, where US legislators have decided to put an end to too close encounters.
People from now on will no longer be allowed to interact with spinner dolphins within two miles of the coast. The ban applies not only to swimmers, but also to boats, canoes, stand-up paddleboards and even drones: no one will be able to come within 50 meters. And if this happens fortuitously, the new rules provide for the absolute prohibition of chasing the animal, take immediate measures to get away and minimize the disturbance. This is to protect their health and limit the stress levels that cause problems in the rest and care of puppies, as well as their habitat.
Spinner dolphins are nocturnal creatures and stop in shallow bays to rest during the day, making them accessible to humans and easy targets for tourists looking to interact with them. Excursions and trips to their favorite places were organized and the decision to block everyone comes precisely with the mass return of tourists to the island, to prevent the dolphins from being stressed again as before.
“Spinner dolphins disturbed during the day exhibit distress behavior. The lack of consistent, undisturbed rest periods can reduce the amount of energy they have to hunt and care for their young, ”reads a statement from the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And although dolphins can ‘swim away’ from humans and ships, ‘this situation keeps them in a state of alertness and forces them to expend much more energy than they should, as well as forcing them to change habitats, which could make them vulnerable to predators. “.
Following the ban, the next step of the Noaa Fisheries will be to close some coastal areas from 6 to 15, to further protect the dolphins during the rest period: for now the areas of Kealakekua, Hōnaunau, Kauhakō Makako Bays have been identified on the island of Hawaii and La Perouse Bay of Maui. The decision will be made by spring.
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