The Hawaiian Honu


A symbol of wisdom and good luck!!

One Hawaiian legend tells of Kauila, a giant turtle goddess who would transform into a human girl to play with and serve as protector of the Keiki (children) playing along the shore of Punalu’u. The black sand beach at the southern tip of the Big Island serves as a modern-day sanctuary for sea turtles and even features a bronze plaque honoring the legend of Kauila.

Since listed as a “threatened” species in 1978, the Green Sea Turtle population has made a comeback. Ninety six percent of Hawaiʻi’s green sea turtles’ nest in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the United States’ largest fully protected conservation area. Before protection, their decline in numbers came primarily from overfishing. Today the fishing has nearly ceased, but baby turtles still face many dangers from the moment they are laid. The babies must survive a multitude of predators and the effect of environmental hazards. If they make it to the sea, the dangers are still abundant: sharks, marine debris, disease, tainted algae, and propellers.

After 25 years of basking on lava, floating along coastal tidepools, and munching on their diet of algae or Limu, the Honu reaches maturity at about 200 pounds. The Honu then begin the arduous, 800-mile journey back to where they were born to mate and start the new generation.