Who’s Watching Who?

Here in Hawaii, the friendly Green Sea Turtle or “Honu,” is seen as a symbol of good fortune, beauty, and conservation.

honu

Underwater, they’re almost like friendly puppy dogs who gaze  at divers through huge, seemingly introspective, and certainly loveable eyes.

In ancient times, Honu were revered as an “Aumakua” or guiding animal spirit for sea-dwelling people.  Rarely were the turtles hunted; and if so, they were always harvested with great attention to the “kapu” or rules concerning the take, time, and season.

 

According to modern Hawaiian law, it is illegal to poke, prod, touch, ride, feed, or  harass turtles in any way!

However, most surfers, skin divers, and scuba enthusiasts will testify to the fact that turtles usually approach people to investigate them.

Here’s a picture from today of a curious turtle who definitely wanted to know who was interrupting his underwater nap time (by the way, turtles with large tails are male).

who's watching who?

who's watching who?

It’s almost like the turtles want to know who’s on their “turf,” so to speak.

In the spirit of turtle conservation, a number of organizations exist here on Oahu in support of Honu and their relatives the Hawksbill and Kemps Ridley Sea Turtles.  Some take monetary donations, others organize volunteers for outreach programs and even help protect fragile sea turtle nests.

 For more information, visit the following websites and do your part to respect the ocean.

NOAA Turtle Volunteers!

Report an injured sea turtle / illegal turtle harassment

Malama (protect)  Honu

– Scuba Matt