On a trip to Hawaii, you can’t miss the chance to explore the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find a diverse array of aquatic life below the water’s surface during a snorkeling tour. Hawaiian green sea turtles are one of the larger creatures you might encounter, so make sure to bring a camera. To entertain other snorkelers, here are a few interesting anecdotes about the reptiles you can share before taking a dip.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Trivia
1. Most of the Population Nests in the French Frigate Shoals
Although you might see Hawaiian green sea turtles feeding in various areas throughout the islands, over 90% of the population nests at French Frigate Shoals. Located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), the atoll is over 744 square kilometers. The NWHI is a refuge for safe nesting, and only scientific researchers are allowed in the area. A variety of coral species, algae, and invertebrates also live in the shoals.
2. Algae Is the Main Food Source
Although younger Hawaiian green sea turtles have been known to eat jellyfish, cuttlefish, and seaweed, they switch to an algae-based diet later. They primarily feed on nine different species of algae found in the Hawaiian Islands. The turtles also graze on sea grass, eating the top of the grass beds and keeping the roots intact. The trim keeps the vegetation healthy.
3. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Regularly Bask on Land
All sea turtles spend most of their lives submerged in water, which is why it’s so exciting to see them during snorkeling tours. Green sea turtles are the only species that frequently come on shore to bask. The Hawaiian Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and parts of Australia are the only known basking areas.
For a chance to see Hawaiian green sea turtles and enhance your marine education, book a tour with Dolphin Excursions Hawaii. For over 20 years, the knowledgeable, friendly staff at this Waianae, HI-based company has led visitors and locals on memorable, safe whale watching and dolphin discovery expeditions along the west coast of Oahu, with the opportunity to see other aquatic animals while snorkeling. To make reservations, call (808) 239-5579. You can also visit the tour operator online to learn more about swimming and snorkeling procedures. Become a Facebook follower to see photos from the tours.