The Endangered Hawaiian 'HONU" (Green Sea Turtle) and Laws that Protect It

By
Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

 

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This past Saturday my husband I went on a ride from the H-3 freeway which starts from the south central part of our Oahu and over the Koolau Mountains to the Windward side of Oahu which the central eastern part of our island. (The map to the left is our island of Oahu and the big stretch of green is the Koolau Mountain Range that stretches from the southeastern tip of our island all the way to the North tip of our island.)

We traveled from Kaneohe on the Windward side all the way to the North Shore and around the Koolau Mountain Range and back down to Central Oahu to our home. I took about 5 hours with stops to take pictures and a wonderful place in Laie (La eee  aye) to have a thick thick malt. Yum!

 The "Ancients" of the ocean, the sea turtles, have roamed the seas for 200 milliion years and even survived the Ice Age. Six of the seven species are classified endangered or on the verge of extinction. The Chinese believed that the sea turtle meant "wisdom" while the Hawaiian legend tells of a green sea turtle named Kauila (cow ih la) who watched over the children playing on the beach in Punaluu (poo na loo oo) on the Big Island of Hawaii.

By time we had reached the North Shore of Oahu we stopped at "Turtle Beach", otherwise known as Laniakea Beach. Plenty of surfing, sunning, shelling, fishing, swimming and the "Honu" (ho new) or Hawaiian Sea Turtles. Over the years these sea turtles picked this particular north end of the beach to sleep and sun themselves.

There is a volunteer group called the "HONU PROJECT" that protects the endangered Honu on this and other beaches. 90% have a virus known as Fibropapillomatosis that cause fibroid tumors in the neck, throat, eyes, mouth and eventually eating away from the inside of the green sea turtle.

  • They have signs that warn that they are endangered species.
  • They have roped off areas with signs telling people to stay behind those ropes
  • They have signs stating the turtles bite
  • They have brochures on the beach to explain all of this

 Yet, there were many people going behind the pink roped off area. The volunteers literally had to babysit the sunning sea turtles and keep telling and motioning people to step back. And then...... I gasped and mumbled loud enough for everyone to turn their heads. A man carrying his toddler went into the ocean not one foot from a swimming honu with his wife standing right next to him! Gasp again! He leans over with the toddler to look at the turtle who just then pops it head above water! I am appalled at the blatant disregard they had for their own safety, their little baby and disregarding the signs and our laws for the Honu.

Please be aware that there are laws that are enforced to protect our Honu:

  • No Harassing
  • No Harming
  • No Killing
  • No keeping sea turtles in captivity without a permit (educational or research)
  • Divers are NOT to ride turtles. It is ILLEGAL because it puts the animals under stress

Recently on the news they told a story of a man who was visiting from Alaska that had harassed the Hawaiian Monk Seal and video taped the whole harassment and then posted it on My Space. He was caught and arrested and of course the video is no longer up there. Fines of up to $100,000 are imposed and may include prison time as well.

 

 

**If you are relocating to Hawaii or even just visiting please respect our land. Our environment. Our wildlife. Our Sea Life.

                                        Our Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

          Waimea Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

 

All pictures the property of Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman© 

Hawaii Relocations

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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.

     

 


 

 

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Ambassador
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Joan: I totally agree...and if we all chip in and do our part then it'll all be around for our grandchildren and theirs too. With all that's going on I wonder too.

Paula: Yes, they are. It's really sad to see when people just don't care. What do they think this is? A Zoo? We have one in Waikiki.

Sep 25, 2007 04:25 PM #25
Rainmaker
337,364
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
Sally - I just booked my tour for the turtle farm in Grand Caman - I love these creatures - they are so much fun to watch and come in so many different sizes -
Sep 25, 2007 06:32 PM #26
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Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Sally, I enjoy your posts about the Honu and nature preservation very much.

Years ago when I was working in government research, part of my position was to make recommendations for a very large sandy hill and marsh area that projected out into a river. The area was being used by 4-wheelers for stunts etc.  In my research I found a number of species of turtles were using the sandy area for nests and the motorized vehicles were destroying these nests and eggs. Two of the species are on the 'watch' list here in Ontario and are close to being endangered.  My research and recommendations put an end to the use of the area by all motorized vehicles (signs were posted, barricades were built and penalties were enacted) and the turtles can now live and breed in peace.

It never ceases to amaze me that so many humans feel they are the be all and end all of life here on this earth and that everything was put here for their use and abuse.

Jo 

Sep 26, 2007 12:14 AM #27
Rainmaker
224,121
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO
Sally, it's unbelievable to me that these creatures are just...RIGHT THERE!  Seals, and now turtles- you DO live in a paradise.  But, if I ever visit Hawaii, your words have driven home the importance of NOT TOUCHING- no matter how tempting.
Sep 26, 2007 01:16 AM #28
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Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
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Another wonderful post on such a fantastic place!  Laurie's right Sis, you do live in Paradise and we are lucky enough that you bring it into our homes with every post you write.
Sep 26, 2007 01:21 AM #29
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Julie Neerings~Lifting Hearts ♥ Building Dreams~
Agent Referral - Salt Lake City, UT
Sally-this post really tugs at the heart.  I can't believe that people are so desensitized to their actions towards any living species.  The sea turtle is so vulnerable and your post will really get the word out.  You write so beautifully Sally and your passion for Hawaii shines through. 
Sep 26, 2007 02:00 AM #30
Rainmaker
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Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Sally--It is sad to think that anyone would consider hurting such beautiful creatures. I suppose kids see Finding Nemo and want to play with the turtles...but adults should know better and understand. Thanks for sharing this information!

Sep 26, 2007 02:46 AM #31
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Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Girl I would have done more then mumbled...  I would have had a downright fit right there on the beach, Hawaiian Style... Now remember, I'm not as polite as you are :)
Sep 26, 2007 03:49 AM #32
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Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
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Sally- WoW! I really enjoyed this post, reading about your excursion and your passion to help the endangered sea turtles. We have that too, where people will try to steal the eggs and step on the nests! I get so mad! I love Laie. I love the BYU campus there and the Polynesian culture center. So many great things right there. I always felt the spirit when I would visit Laie. Thanks again for the most beautiful photos as always. I like the thing you did on the outside of the photo, have no idea what you call it. Katerina
Sep 26, 2007 04:43 AM #33
Rainmaker
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Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Sally-

I just know you put those "Turtles" on there to teach me a lesson :) :)  I might add that if you're a Photographer respect the "do not put your hands in the water" signs as well.........I got bit by one of these Turtles at the Aquarium in Maui while  trying to take an underwater photo......not fun, and of course it was my own fault :(

The worse part is we had gone on one of those  snorkeling excursions  and had been swimming with some Turtles for hours.  No problem at all. But the Photographer in me wanted a closer picture, so while at the aquarium I broke the rules.......Yes, Rules are made for a reason, and this time I will obey ALL :)   Wonderful Post, and an even better reminder how our behavior affects these wonderful creatures.

Sep 26, 2007 05:04 AM #34
Rainer
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Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
Sally - again you are so "in the know" about your state! Great photos and links! It's a shame that people disrespect nature. I love your articles, they teach me so much!
Sep 26, 2007 05:31 AM #35
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Thesa: Please take plenty of pictures and share them! I think I could handle holding those cute miniature ones...lol!

Jo:  These turtles come up on the beach just to go sun and sleep and then go swimming around. No vehicles as the beach is next to rocks and down a little erroded hill. I presume that one day they'll just get sick of everyone doing what they're doing and put up fences like they've been doing for the monk seals. It's hard to "police" these areas constantly and there are some that go beyond the barriers and harrass the creatures. It's the ones that "think" they're ENTITLED to do what they do.

Laurie: Yup...don't touch...you could lose a finger!

Lil Bro...thanks for coming by to enjoy. One day I'll see you...I just know it! :)

Julie:  When one lives in a place that is appreciated for its surrounding beauty then of course we feel the need to protect everything around us. Partial to animals/mammals etc. as well.

Teri: They just don't heed warnings...and then they regret it after when something happens.

Lysa: lol!  I'm sure you would have. I was grumbling and mumbling and instead of doing that I should have yelled at them something like 'are you out of your minds going so close with the baby?' arghh..

Katerina: My next story is about Laie. Not necessarily BYU...already did something about History of schools and such which that was included.

Kathy: I didn't go anywhere near...I have zoom..hahaha!  Especially after I heard they chase people too! I don't think I'd go swimming with any. Shhh....I haven't gone swimming in the ocean except with my husband in a little coral reefed pond at Koolina...three years ago....paranoid after "Jaws".

Mary: Thanks. It is a shame and glad you enjoy.

 

 

Sep 26, 2007 05:37 AM #36
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Cheryl:  I try hard to bring issues, information and such about Hawaii to everyone. Thanks.
Sep 26, 2007 07:23 AM #37
Rainmaker
201,806
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

 

Sally,  that's so sad.  I can't believe that someone would do that....so disrespectful.

But,  You have the Eco All Star Gold Star for the day!  Thanks for posting about the Turtles and remind people to respect them!

Sep 26, 2007 10:43 AM #38
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Steph:  WooHoo...thanks!  I'm a peaceful person...not with my mouth though hehe.
Sep 26, 2007 10:48 AM #39
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Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Sally,  I didn't mean you saying something.  :)  I meant the disrespectful  BLEEP BLEEP that was messing with the Turtle.  Just so you didn't think I meant you.  :)~  I would have said something also.

Sep 26, 2007 11:05 AM #40
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Steph:  I know that....I was talking about grumbling and making a lot of noise at those people :)

Sep 26, 2007 11:12 AM #41
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Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Sally, I can hear the ole pigeon english coming out now, even 20 yrs after being gone, Brah! What you think you doing? You don't know how for read? Of course it would be a little more harsh :) As for the baby, well you can use your imagination what I would have to say about that!
Sep 27, 2007 07:58 AM #42
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Lysa:  That's funny!  ....Stooooopid (for the baby)
Sep 27, 2007 07:59 AM #43
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Stefan Geyer
SOA Realty - Aurora, CO
Thanks for the informative and thoughtful post.  I was recenently scuba diving in Maui and had the opportunity to see sea turtles in the ocean > they are wonderful to watch when the swim, which was very deliberate and graceful.  They seemed to be very humble creatures.   I was impressed for certain.
May 01, 2008 09:26 AM #44
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