Hawaii’s green sea turtles, Honu (pronounced hoe-new ), are named for the color of their body fat, which is green from the algae that they eat. They are primarily herbivorous. These turtles migrate as far as 800 miles from their feeding areas along the coast of the main Hawaiian island to their nesting beaches in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
How to Help a Turtle
If you spot what appears to be a sick, injured or dead sea turtle stranded on land, call 808-274-3521, Police Dispatch 808-241-6711, or the Kauai Marine Conservation Co-ordinator 808-651-7668.
- Remember all marine wildlife, sea turtles, seals, dolphins, and humpback whales, require distance, quiet, and respect.
- Report any wildlife distress or harassment.
- Please keep dogs leashed and away from wildlife.
- It is illegal to ride a turtle.
Factors Affecting Population
- Marine debris – plastics are particularly harmful.
- Habitat – coastal development and degradation.
- Incidental catch – in fishing gear and discarded nets and lines.
- Fibropapilloma – a recent phenomenon causing the growth of large bulbous tumours.
Turtles do not appear to recover once stricken and the exact cause is not known.
- Hunting – prior to the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, green sea turtles
were killed in large numbers for food.
- Protection – Thanks to government conservation measures and local citizen support,
populations are now showing some recovery. Hawaii’s turtles are protected by Federal
and International law with fines up to $100,000.00.