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Gazette Premium Content Maui company wins responsible dolphin tour status

Associated Press Updated: January 30, 2014 at 8:04 am

HONOLULU (AP) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its partners are recognizing a Maui company for practicing responsible wild dolphin tourism.

The agency said Wednesday Trilogy Excursions is the fifth Hawaii business to be recognized under the Dolphin SMART program. Three companies are on Oahu while one is on Kauai.

Dolphin SMART operators refrain from feeding, touching or swimming with wild dolphins. They also stay at least 50 yards away from dolphins.

The agency says viewing wild dolphins up close may disrupt important behaviors, including feeding and nursing. Close viewing may negatively affect the health of dolphin groups and their young.

The agency is encouraging people to book tours with a Dolphin SMART operator. A list of operators may be found at www.dolphinsmart.org.

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