hawaiian spinner dolphin jumping

     Hawaii Nautical is Hawaii's first DOLPHIN SMART recognized operator for proper viewing of dolphins, in accordance with federal guidelines that include "Do not swim with wild spinner dolphins." Dolphin Smart is sponsored by NOAA, the National Marine Sanctuaries, the Dolphin Ecology Project and the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society. They educate guests about dolphin conservation and harassment and advise not to seek activities that pursue close interactions with wild dolphins. Swim with dolphins Oahu is not recommended.

   We also do not try to sell you fish-food nor condone feeding fish, as that is not good for the fish nor for Hawaii's reefs.

dolphin smart logo

why No "Swim with Dolphins" and no "MANTA SWIM"?

     Looking for "swim with dolphins" or "swim with manta rays" in the wild? See them instead in a sustainable, eco-conscious way aboard near Ko Olina catamaran sailing. Federal NOAA guidelines say "Do not swim with wild spinner dolphins."

     As for Hawaii Island's manta rays, NOAA has listed them on the Endangered Species Act's Threatened Species list because they are "inherently vulnerable to depletions, with low likelihood of recovery" and intentionally swimming with them day or night disrupts their natural feeding patterns.

​     We also do not try to sell you fish-food nor condone feeding fish, as that is not good for the fish nor for Hawaii's reefs.

     Swimming with dolphins in Hawaii in the wild is not good for the mammals. There are clear guidelines and research about what's best for marine wildlife. By participating in Hawaii Nautical's eco-conscious activities, you are demonstrating your support for dolphin conservation. Swimming with wild dolphins should be avoided.

     Federal guidelines from NOAA strictly advise "Do not swim with wild spinner dolphins."  NOAA states: "When people swim with resting wild spinner dolphins, the dolphins may be drawn out of their resting state to investigate the swimmers. This may be a change in behavior which may constitute "harassment" under the Federal law that protects them and other marine mammals - the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance that has the potential to disrupt a marine mammal's behavior is “harassment" under this Act and is, therefore, AGAINST THE LAW."

   Where to swim with dolphins?  If you are still wondering, "where can I swim with dolphins in Hawaii," there are trained-dolphin aquarium programs such as Sea Life Park or one of the Dolphin Quest sites that at this time are permitted to allow interaction with humans, though captivity and human interaction it is not condoned by all to be good for the dolphins and some ecological groups are also calling for an end to these practices as well. Please do not swim with wild dolphins or manta rays. Wild swim with dolphins Hawaii or Hawaii manta swims are not eco-friendly nor sustainable for their species.

Report Wildlife Harassment

​Call NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement 24-hour hotline: (800) 853-1964.

     Here is more information from NOAA Fisheries' Office of Protected Resources. All text is directly from their web site at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-life-viewing-guidelines/protect-wild-dolphins-admire-them-distance and https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/new-regulation-protects-hawaiian-spinner-dolphins-against-disturbance
     "It is against the law to feed or harass wild dolphins. For the dolphins' sake, and for your safety, please DON'T FEED, SWIM WITH, OR HARASS WILD DOLPHINS. We encourage you to observe them from a distance of at least 50 yards. Dolphin swimming is not eco-friendly.

     Dolphins have a reputation for being friendly. However, they are really wild animals who should be treated with caution and respect. Interactions with people change the behavior of dolphins for the worse. They lose their natural wariness which makes them easy targets for vandalism and shark attack.

     Dolphins are hunters, not beggars, but when people offer them food, dolphins, like most animals, take the easy way out. They learn to beg for a living, lose their fear of humans, and do dangerous things.

     They swim too close to churning boat propellers and can be severely injured. They learn to associate people with food and get entangled with fishing hooks and lines and die. They get sick from eating bait and people food like beer, pretzels, candy and hot dogs.

     Dolphin scientists have proof of injuries. Feeding wild dolphin disrupts their social groups which threatens their ability to survive in the wild. Young dolphins do not survive if their mothers compete with them for hand-outs and don't teach them to forage. Swim with the dolphins programs interrupt nature.

     Dozens of bites have been reported, and people have been pulled under the water. A woman who fed a pair of dolphins and then jumped in the water to swim with them was bitten. "I literally ripped my left leg out of its mouth," she said during her week stay in the hospital.

     Dolphins are not water toys or pets--the "Flipper myth" of a friendly wild dolphin has given us the wrong idea. Flipper was actually a trained, captive dolphin who did not bite the hand that fed him. However, truly wild dolphins will bite when they are angry, frustrated or afraid. When people try to swim with wild dolphins, the dolphins are disturbed. Dolphins who have become career moochers can get pushy, aggressive and threatening when they don't get the hand-out they expect.

     Let the wild ones stay wild.

     The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the "taking" of marine mammals. The maximum fine for violating the MMPA is $20,000 and one year in jail.

hawaiian spinner dolphins jumping