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U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
2570 Dole St. • Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2396
(808) 983-5300 • Fax: (808) 983-2902

   
 

Island of Oahu
Instructions For Reporting Stranded Sea Turtles
And The Violation Of Laws Protecting Hawaiian Sea Turtles


 
 
A stranded sea turtle is defined as any ocean turtle found dead, injured, sick, tumored, or otherwise abnormal and sometimes even abnormal in appearance and out of the water, usually along the shoreline. The turtle may also be in very shallow water close to shore. DOCARE Officers do not normally pick up stranded turtles, unless there is a law
enforcement violation.

The correct phone numbers to report a stranded sea turtle to facilitate a response on Oahu are as follows:

808-725-5730
Monday - Friday, 7 am to 4 pm
Marine Turtle Research Program
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Weekends, holidays, and after hours
288-5685 or 288-0023 pagers

For suspected law enforcement violations, such as killing, harming, or harassing a turtle please call the Federal or State Enforcement offices at:

(800) 853-1964 / Honolulu: (808) 541-2727
Law Enforcement Branch
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
587-0077 or 643-DLNR (3567) after hours
DLNR – DOCARE State of Hawaii Conservation Enforcement

For other Hawaiian Islands enforcement, please call the State of Hawaii DOCARE offices to facilitate:

BIG ISLAND: 974-6208 (Hilo); 323-3141 (Kona); 887-6196 (Kamuela);
MAUI: 873-3990; MOLOKAI: 553-5190; LANAI: 565-7916; KAUAI: 274-3521
OAHU: 983-5730 NMFS Marine Turtle Research Program (after hours, call DOCARE: 587-0077)

Important points to keep in mind:

  • Sea turtles are listed and protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and wildlife laws of the State of Hawaii. All sea turtles, both dead and alive, are legally protected.

  • These instructions apply exclusively to sea turtles. Please do not call 911 or any other private or government organizations.

  • On weekends, Federal and State holidays, and after hours, please use the pager number provided above. Due to the considerable travel distances that may be involved, and the possibility of other turtle strandings occurring at the same time, a delay in response of three hours or more may occur. Please be patient. There is no harm whatsoever for a sea turtle to be out of the water for many hours, provided it is not in direct hot sunlight. In fact, sea turtles strand because they want to and need to be out of the ocean.

  • Callers should be prepared to tell exactly where the turtle is located, whether it appears to be dead or alive, and the size of the animal (estimated weight or length of shell - can one person lift it, or will two or more persons be needed?). Due to safety considerations, personnel may not travel at night to isolated unfamiliar areas.

  • If the turtle returns to the water before someone arrives, this is not necessarily bad. Some turtles, even If the turtle returns to the water before someone arrives, this is not necessarily bad. Some turtles, even ones with tumors, want to rest ashore for a period of time and they may do this regularly (called basking). ones with tumors, want to rest ashore for a period of time and they may do this regularly (called basking). For more information, please call: (808) 983-5730 NMFS Marine Turtle Research Program (Oahu)
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