Dolphins, and all marine mammals, are protected from harassment by federal law; under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Harassment means "any act of pursuit or annoyance which has the potential to disturb the dolphins in the wild by causing disruption of their behavioral patterns of migration, nursing, breeding, sheltering or resting/sleeping."
Examples of what is NOT harassment:
1. bowriding swimming along the front of a boat
2. being in the water when dolphins are nearby (at times anyhow)
Examples of what IS harassment:
1. splitting up, circling or herding the pod
2. anything causing escape tactics these are recognized by prolonged diving, underwater course changes, or rapid swimming away
3. sudden stop in important breeding, nursing, feeding or resting activities following or during disturbance
4. blasting dolphins with sonar
To report harassment, call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964. In Hawaii, you also can call the Hawaii State Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement at (808) 587-0077.