NOAA Kicks Off 2nd Annual Honu Count

Jul 2, 2018

Turtles are numbered with a non-toxic paint that will disappear in about a year.
Credit NOAA

Biologists are seeking the public’s help in tracking green sea turtles in the state.

Since April, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been carefully marking green sea turtles with temporary numbers in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands…where they lay their eggs.

Now those turtles are migrating back to their foraging grounds in the main Hawaiian Islands. This migration kicks off NOAA’s second “Honu Count” citizen scientist campaign.

Last year, residents provided 70 reports on the movement of 32 turtles in the main Hawaiian Islands.

Alex Reininger works in NOAA’s Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program.

A group of honu bask on the shores of French Frigate Shoals
Credit NOAA

Reininger says each turtle will have a number and a letter on its shell. The letter will correspond with the island where the turtle nested and was marked.

To report a turtle’s number and the location spotted – you can email

You can also take a picture and post the Facebook or Instagram – using #honucount2018.