VOLUNTEER TO HELP IN HAWAII
To help with turtle conservation in Hawaii, volunteers must first understand the conservation challenges involving the local community and sea turtles. Before the passing of the U.S. federal law in 1978 to protect sea turtles, Native Hawaiians harvested sea turtles as a means of sustenance and livelihood, or for spiritual and cultural reasons. With the turtle population increasing in Hawaii now (50 decades later), some locals believe the turtle population has recovered and are no longer endangered; therefore, the species does not require legal protection anymore. Many Native Hawaiians believe they should have cultural rights to practice their traditional harvest of sea turtles again, while other locals are adamantly against this idea. For more info on this topic, read the local news and federal notice.
In Hawaii, locals are frustrated with the traffic congestion caused by tourists overcrowding a beach where turtles can be frequently seen. Residents are also irritated with tourists who harass and touch the turtles. If you see anyone harassing turtles, please help by following this How-To Guide for Reporting Potential Marine Wildlife Harassment in Hawaii. To learn more about sea turtle conservation in Hawaii, please review the publications below.
- Goodbred (2020) Towards Sustainable Native Hawaiian Access to Green Sea Turtle Take
- Lamb (2019) Spectacular sea turtles: Circuits of a wildlife ecotourism discourse in Hawaii
- Kelly (2017) Trapped in the Crossroads of Honu Conservation
- Khubchandani (2016) Cultural Rights v. Species Protection: A case study of pacific leatherback sea turtles
- Hooven (2014) A Sociological Study: Human Interactions With Sea Turtles at Laniakea, on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, 2002-2003
- Van Houtan (2014) Historical commercial exploitation and the current status of Hawaiian green turtles
- Humburg (2014) Forty Years of Research Recovery Records of Green Turtles Observed or Originally Tagged at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, 1973-2013