06/30/2014 02:59 pm ET

Respect The Locals: Sea Turtle Selfies Are Uncool -- And Illegal

Civil Beat

There’s a euphoric little scene in the animated film “Finding Nemo” where the father of the clownfish title character latches onto a sea turtle and takes a wild ride in the ocean currents.

Maybe that’s what inspired some local teens to grab a honu earlier this month in the waters of Waimea Bay.

Regardless, they should have known better than to harass a recovering species that is protected by state and federal laws, according to Hawaii Land and Natural Resources Chair William Aila.

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