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The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle- A Honu World

snorkeling with honu (sea turtle) in Kona, Hawaii

The Honu or “Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle”

Hawaii is home to some of the most diverse marine life in the world, but the most popular is the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, or “Honu” in the Hawaiian language.

These turtles can live to be well over 100 years old and some weigh in at over 120 pounds. In Hawaii, the honu is considered a sacred animal because it is considered to be an “aumakua” or spirit animal.

You can usually find the green sea turtles bathing in the sun on a sandy beach, munching on some limu (the slimy stuff on the slippery rocks) during hide tide, or swimming around in the pristine waters along Hawaii’s coast.

A popular beach for ocean goers to sport the Honu, is Kahaluu Bay in Kona, Hawaii. Kahaluu Bay is known as the jewel of Kona and a snorkelers paradise. It is not uncommon to spot several green sea turtles swimming around the bay on any day.

While the green sea turtles look gentle enough to swim up to and pet, it is VERY important that you do not touch the sea turtles. The Hawaiian green sea turtle is an endangered species and therefore protected by state and federal law.

Here are a few things to remember when encountering the sacred honu;

  1. Stay at least 10 feet away from the turtles at all times. This includes on land and in the water. Harassing the turtles causes them stress.

  2. Do not feed the sea turtles. They get plenty of food from the reef and limu on the shoreline.

  3. Do not try to touch or pick up the sea turtles.

  4. Try to keep cameras and selfie-sticks away from the faces of the sea turtles.

  5. Keep trash away from sea turtles. Them may mistake it for food.

  6. Do not chase the sea turtles around. If they want to be around you, they will.

In Hawaiian culture, it is considered good luck to see the honu. If you are blessed with the luck to encounter this magical creature, please remember to enjoy it responsibly and respectfully.



3 Responses to "The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle- A Honu World"

  1. Marie-Ann says:

    is there a fine for touching or bothering the sea turtles? I bet its really steep

    • Kahaluubaysurf says:

      Yes Marie, there is a fine. Penalties can be as high as $25,000 and up to 1 year in prison for touching, capturing, killing or harassing a sea turtle in Hawaii.

  2. Peter Jacobs Ufudu Turtle Tours says:

    We do turtle conservation in South Africa. Please send info on the limu that the Green Turtles purge or throw up as a means to get rid of sea water. We have job observing it here in South Africa.

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