About Hawaii’s Other Protected Marine Species

The federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) covers all marine mammals that may be encountered in Hawaii including all whales, all dolphins and Hawaiian monk seals.

In addition to the Hawaiian monk seal, Spinner dolphin and Humpback whale, the list of animals covered under the MMPA includes:

  • North Pacific Right Whale
  • False Killer Whale
  • Blue Whale
  • Fin Whale
  • Sei Whale
  • Sperm Whale
  • Blainville’s Beaked Whale
  • Cuvier’s Beaked Whale
  • Minke Whale
  • Bottlenose Dolphin
  • Pygmy Killer Whale
  • Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus)
  • Rough-toothed Dolphin
  • Short-finned Pilot Whale
  • Dward Sperm Whale
  • Pygmy Sperm Whale
  • Melon-headed Whale
  • Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
  • Striped Dolphin
  • Killer Whale

In addition to the protections contained in the MMPA, the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) also covers the following species that are categorized as either Endangered or Threatened.

Endangered animals:

  • Hawaiian Monk seal
  • Hawksbill Turtle
  • Blue Whale
  • False Killer Whale
  • Fin Whale
  • Blue Whale
  • Sperm Whale
  • Sei Whale
  • Northern Pacific Right Whale

Threatened animals:

  • Green Turtle
  • Loggerhead Turtle
  • Olive Ridley Turtle

Get The Responsible Viewing Guidelines Brochure

Review NOAA’s Fisheries Interactions Guidelines:
If you encounter a seal or turtle while fishing, please take a short break or change locations. This way you won’t risk loss of your bait or tackle and these protected animals won’t get hooked.  Fishing with a barbless circle hook also minimizes hooking injuries. Please follow all applicable fishing and net use rules. If you do experience a possible or actual fishing interaction with a protected marine species please call our hotline at (888) 256-9840.  You do not need to provide your name. Guidelines have been developed to minimize the impacts of interactions with monk seals, turtles and Spinner dolphins. Review the guide for more information on how to avoid interactions.