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Animal Research

Feds want to ban swimming with Hawaii dolphins

Federal regulators are proposing to ban swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, a move that could imperil one of the Aloha State's most popular tourist activities and the industry that has sprung up around it.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says spinner dolphins — the playful nocturnal species that humans in Hawaii routinely frolic with — are being deprived of rest during the day and becoming stressed out.

Swimming with dolphins is popular with visitors and some locals, with dozens of companies on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island operating dolphin tours daily.

The proposed rule could shut down or greatly disrupt the industry as it now operates. That's...

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