Authorities in Hawaii are proposing ban on popular tourist activity of swimming with dolphins off Hawaiian coast. dolphins have served as magnet for tourists over past few decades. However, federal officials say increasing tourism is harmful to dolphins because they are supposed to be resting and socializing. The National Marine Fisheries Service of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposes to prohibit swimming with, or approaching within 50 metres of, Hawaii's spinner dolphins. That would put end to many tour group activities, which involve sailing alongside creatures in boat and snorkeling with them.
Ann Garrett, spokeswoman for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said she didn't think ban would have big impact on tourist trade in Hawaii. Ms Garrett said: "We think that by identifying 50 metres as the minimum distance, there still can be viable tourist industry in Hawaii." Tour operators disagreed with Garrett's assessment. Tour company owner Kevin Merrill warned: "It would be end of legitimate dolphin swimming. We couldn’t offer the people quality interaction that they expect." Dolphins typically are most active at night and sleep and relax during day, which is when the tourists interact with them. Garrett said interaction disrupts dolphins' health and fitness.