HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three recreational swimmers — two residents and one visitor — have been fined for harassing Hawaiian spinner dolphins off Makua Beach.
NOAA said law enforcement officers spotted the swimmers pursuing a pod of dolphins and recorded their activities for about 15 minutes.
"They saw not only that the swimmers were clearly pursuing the animals, but also that the pursuit was causing marked behavioral changes in the dolphins, including tail slaps and quick changes in direction," NOAA said, in an online post.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act bans any attempt to harass, hunt or kill protected animals, which include Hawaiian spinner dolphins.
NOAA said one of the swimmers who was fined was familiar with the act.
NOAA recommends that everyone stays at least 50 yards from spinner dolphins and not pursue them.