Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display
Skip to content

Marine Life in Hawaii

Marine Life in Hawaii
By Miki Lau

Hawaii is home to an abundance of marine life. The Hawaiian Islands welcome the largest seasonal population of North Pacific Humpback Whales in the world!  After feeding in northern waters during the summer, humpback whales make the 3,000 mile journey to the Hawaiian Islands to mate, calve and nurse their young. January to March is prime time to see the migratory humpback whales.  

Another marine mammal you might see from the shore is the Hawaiian Monk Seal. They are known to be spotted sun bathing on the beach. These seals are endemic to Hawaii and protected under the endangered species act. You should not approach a seal if you see one, although many surfers have been startled by a curious monk seal surfacing next to them.  

Just like the monk seal, you will often spot playful spinner dolphins frolicking in the surf. Like their name suggests, you may catch them leaping out of the water and spinning in mid-air. They usually travel in herds, so if you spot one, be on the look-out for its friends!    

The most common sea turtle in the Hawaiian Islands is the Green Sea Turtle. They can be seen grazing on marine plants in shallow waters. Adults can grow up to 200lbs or more. Sea turtles are culturally significant to the Hawaiian people as aumakua or family guardians.    

What else can you see in Hawaii’s waters? Fish! Lots and lots of them. Hawaii’s coral reefs are home to more than 700 species of fish, 25 percent of which are endemic to Hawaii. Whether you opt to snorkel, dive, boat or catch a submarine, you’ll see surgeons, tangs, angelfish, puffers, sea bass and moray eels. Don’t forget to look for the state fish- the humuhumunukunukuapuaa (or the Picasso Triggerfish).



Not sure how to see all of the marine life Hawaii has to offer?

ITT offers:
Submarine tours
Dolphin Tours
Snorkel Tours
For more information call:
At JBPHH:  (808) 473-0792 (Fleet Store) or (808) 448-2295 (Hickam)
At PMRF:  (808) 335-4195


MWR’s Outdoor Adventure Center offers:
Snorkel Gear for rent
Hiking Tours, Kayaking Tours and more
For more information call:
At JBPHH:  (808) 473-1198
At PMRF:  (808) 335-4195 (called the Community Recreation Center)


Relocating to PMRF?

Moves can be stressful. We’ve gathered some important information for you to ease the transition.


Facility Directory

Quickly find the number, location, or hours of operation for our facilities.



Break the ICE! Tell us how we’re doing. Rate your experience at our facilities.


About Us

Greatlifehawaii is here to provide you all the information you need on programs and activities by MWR, Family Support, Wounded Warrior and Housing programs.


Contact Us

Have a question, comment or feedback on our website, let us know.



Partner with Navy MWR to enhance events for our military community while gaining valuable promotional benefits for your business.


Job Opportunities

Join our team! Check out our great opportunities with great benefits.



Subscribe to our many FREE points of contact including our monthly magazine, eCalendar, email lists, social media links and more!



Check out the magazine full of information on the latest events and activities along with an archive of past issues.

Back to top