New federal rules are being discussed to protect dolphins.

FOX's Chris Foster reports:

Swimming with dolphins is popular with tourists in Hawaii. Tour boats take people out to groups of dolphins swimming, but those dolphins are actually sleeping, or trying to, after looking for food all night.

And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering new rules to let them rest. The agency could ban swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins, or limit it to early morning or evening hours when they aren't trying to sleep.

A few local tour operators already avoid dolphin resting bays between 10 and 2. The new federal rules are expected to be announced in June.

Chris Foster, FOX News.