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Turtle Town: Snorkel With Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Found along the southern coast of Maui, lies a beautiful snorkel location called Turtle Town. Get ready to mark off one of your bucket list items by getting a chance to swim with Hawaiian green sea turtles!

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles on Maui

Hawaiian green sea turtles absolutely love Turtle Town, due to the unique formation that is the result of a volcanic eruption that took place many moons ago. The sea turtles love to feed on the algae that forms on the rocks. The abundance of turtles has made Turtle Town a highly desireable snorkel spot in Maui. The thriving coral reef also attracts lots of tropical fish.

The sea turtles are federally protected. Getting too close to them could result in a Federal or State violation. “NOAA and DLNR recommend, for your safety and the animals’ protection, that everyone stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) from all sea turtles. If maintaining this distance isn’t possible, keep safety in mind and move away from the animal as carefully as possible, avoiding sudden movements and other actions that might disturb the animal.” For more information, please visit the Department of Land and Resources website at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/species/sea-turtles/.  

Facts About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

  • Hawaiian sea turtles can weigh up to 500 pounds!
  • What is a turtle cleaning station? A sea turtle cleaning station is a place where the turtles go and seek out fish to eat the algae off their shells.
  • Hawaii sea turtles enjoy sunbathing and resting during the daytime hours. The sea turtles often feed on the rocks and coral close to shore.
  • Hawaii sea turtles eat seaweed and algae that grow on the lava rocks.
  • The “green” portion of their names does not come from the color of their shell, rather from the color of their fat tissue due to their algae diet.
  • The normal swimming speed for the green sea turtle is 1 mph. When they are trying to escape a predator, they can reach speeds of up to 20 mph.
  • The sexual maturity of a sea turtle is 25-35 years old.
  • The hawaiian word for green sea turtle is honu. The Hawaiians consider the honu to be a  family guardian (aumakua). 
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