To the Hawaiians sea turtles or “Honu" are sacred creatures. They embody good luck, protection, endurance, and long life.
With every stay we host, a donation is made to Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute. These donations directly support the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of the turtle patients on the island of Maui. Every guest receives a digital personalized adoption certificate. We will be glad to provide photos/videos of adopted turtle's release as soon as it happens.
Release of Adopted Turtles
MAUI OCEAN CENTER MARINE INSTITUTE
MOC Marine Institute (MOCMI) responds to reports, rescues, and rehabilitates sick and injured sea turtles on the island of Maui, HI. To report a sick or injured sea turtle, please contact 24-hour Sea Turtle Stranding Response Hotline at (888) 256-9840.
Out of the seven types of sea turtle, only two are commonly observed in Hawai'i: the Green Sea Turtle (in Hawaiian, they’re called Honu) and the Hawksbill (in Hawaiian, Honu‘Ea). Hawaiian green sea turtles are the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world, reaching lengths of four feet and weighing over 300 pounds. Honu grow pretty slowly. They can’t have turtles of their own until they’re somewhere between 20 and maybe as old as 50 years. Interesting that you can’t tell the gender of a Honu until he reaches sexual maturity, when if it is a “he”, he’ll grow a very long tail. Adult female turtles keep their short, stubby tails.
According to estimations more than 90% of the female turtles migrate up to the French Frigate Shoals (nearly 600 miles away from the main islands) where they lay an average of 75 to 100 eggs per nest, digging as many as six nests in one season. Hawaiian green sea turtles typically lay their nests in the early summer months. About two months later, the hatchlings will dig their way out and make their way to the ocean. Sex of each hatchling is determined by temperature — the cooler the sand, the more males will hatch. For the first few years of their lives juveniles are primarily omnivores (eating jellyfish, fish, etc). After four to ten years those who survive return to the coastal grazing areas. Since then they’re almost exclusively vegetarian feeding primarily on nine different types of algae.
All Hawaiian sea turtles are fully protected under the federal Endangered Species Act and under Hawaii state law. Whether the turtle is in the water or resting on a beach, any physical contact is prohibited. It’s ok to swim, snorkel or dive near a turtle as long as you’re not putting the animal under unnecessary stress. Enjoy the beauty of these amazing creatures from a distance. Aloha!