hawaiian spinner dolphins

Dolphins are some of the most beloved marine mammals on the planet, but Hawaiian spinner dolphins like this acrobatic individual in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary need our help!

Hawaiian spinner dolphins feed offshore at night and return to Hawai'i’s nearshore waters to rest and recuperate during the day. Research has shown that frequent interaction with swimmers and boaters in their habitat can negatively affect the dolphins’ heath. Although a single disturbance may seem harmless, these dolphins face these stressors multiple times a day. And each disturbance takes time away from the dolphin that it may have used for resting, nurturing its young, or socializing with other dolphins. 

When visiting dolphin habitats, help keep these dolphins safe by giving them plenty of space to rest and recuperate. Even those of us living far from dolphin habitats can help – spread the word to your traveling friends and help promote responsible recreation habits! 

(Photo: Ed Lyman/NOAA, under NOAA Permit #14097) 

Traveling with porpoise: two Hawaiian spinner dolphins swim through the waters at Pearl and Hermes Atoll in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 

Hawaiian spinner dolphins exhibit a “fission-fusion society,” where they fuse into large pods of hundreds as they move offshore at night to feed, then split into smaller groups to rest and socialize during the day. The tranquil, remote waters of the monument are the perfect place for these charismatic dolphins to rest and feed! 

(Photo: James Watt/NOAA)