Saying Aloha to the Whales

Saying Aloha to the Whales

It’s that sad time of year when the North Pacific Humpback Whales depart Hawaii. At the time of this writing (mid-April), the whales are still abundant, but we are definitely seeing fewer than we saw last month. So, if you happen to be on Maui through the end of...
Whale Watching on Maui Q & A

Whale Watching on Maui Q & A

When is whale watching season on Maui? Unofficially, whale watching season runs from December 1 – April 30. But the whales came early this year and we’re already running Whale Watch tours! Where is the best place to see the whales? Well, we may be a teeny...
Welcome Back The Whales!

Welcome Back The Whales!

After spending the summer consuming roughly 5,000 pounds of food in Alaska, the humpback whales are completing their arduous 3,000 mile journey to Hawaii. How lucky we are! Though we witness these 30-ton beauties every winter, the sight of a humpback whale breaching...
10 Fun Facts About Jellyfish

10 Fun Facts About Jellyfish

There are two schools of thought when it comes to jellyfish. When seen in an aquarium, like the fabulous Maui Ocean Center, they are stunningly beautiful. Watching them glow and glide is a sight to behold. On the other hand, when you’re wading waist deep in the...
Mysterious Whale-Dolphin Hybrid Found in Hawaii

Mysterious Whale-Dolphin Hybrid Found in Hawaii

A rare dolphin-whale hybrid is swimming in the waters of Hawaii. Marine researcher Dr. Robin Baird**, of the non-profit Cascadia Research Collective, told The Garden Isle this hybrid is a “most unusual finding”. The hybrid has been given the scientific...
Fish Guide for Snorkeling Maui

Fish Guide for Snorkeling Maui

Book a Lanai Snorkel and Dolphin tour with Hawaii Ocean Project and save $10 by following this special link. Achilles Tang These blackfish have a distinctive orange patch near the tail and some seriously beautiful orange, white, and blue stripes that look like they...
10 Facts About Sharks In Hawaii

10 Facts About Sharks In Hawaii

When you visit Hawaii, you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time in the water. Visitors often ask about sharks, as in “should I be worried about them?” The fact is, many more people run into personal health-related issues while in the ocean...
Five Turtles You Could See on Maui

Five Turtles You Could See on Maui

Turtles are the rare creature you can see both underwater and on shore. While you’re more likely to spot turtles, on Maui at least, in the water, if you know where to look you can see the largest of them, green sea turtles, resting on the beach. Hawaii is home...
10 Facts about Rays in Hawaii

10 Facts about Rays in Hawaii

One of the most exciting fish to see while snorkeling in Hawaii is a ray. A distant cousin of the shark, rays can often be seen in Maui’s waters fairly close to shore. Highly photogenic, seeing rays is always the highlight of any snorkeling adventure. Here are...
10 Facts About the Hawaiian Monk Seal

10 Facts About the Hawaiian Monk Seal

We love our monk seals. But if you’re lucky enough to see one, remember to keep your distance. They are endangered and should not be touched or harassed in any way. Beyond that, Hawaiian monk seal mothers of newborns will aggressively protect their pups. The...
10 Facts About Spinner Dolphins

10 Facts About Spinner Dolphins

Seeing whales on a whale watch tour is awesome. No doubt about that. But do you know what else is awesome? Seeing dolphins! One of the best ways to see them is on our snorkel tour to Lanai. Spinner dolphins, the type you are most likely to see around Maui, are...

Dolphins, Sharks and Whales You May See in Maui

We often get asked what types of whales, dolphins and sharks are spotted here in Maui. This is not a complete list, just the ones that are most often seen from Maui’s shores and while on whale watch and snorkeling tours. DOLPHINS Spinner Dolphins (Very common)...
10 Fun Facts About Humpback Whales in Maui

10 Fun Facts About Humpback Whales in Maui

Whale season in Hawaii refers to the return of the north pacific humpback whales every winter. While the cycle varies slightly every year, most people consider whale season to run from December to April. To get you ready for whale season, here are 10 fun facts about...
Corals of Maui

Corals of Maui

Snorkeling in Maui is fun. When you enter our waters, you’re liable to see fish of all colors, turtles, sea urchins, and maybe even (harmless) sharks and rays. But when snorkeling, don’t overlook the coral. Coral are beautiful, living ANIMALS. Coral has a...
Fun Facts About the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa

Fun Facts About the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa

We are sure that you have heard of Hawaii’s state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, and have been challenged to sound out this seemingly complicated set of letters. Lucky for you, we won’t make you do that and will often refer to this fish as “humuhumu” like the locals...

Common Sea Urchins of Hawaii Reefs and Tide Pools

If you love exploring tide pools and coral reefs to discover the many fascinating inhabitants, Maui is a great place to be. Whether you join us aboard a Molokini Snorkel Boat Tour, or you opt to stick to Maui’s coastlines, the reefs and tide pools won’t...

10 Fun Facts About Octopuses

The waters off Hawaii’s coastlines are full of fascinating marine animals, but few have as many surprising qualities as the octopus. As researchers continue to discover incredible things about the capabilities of these remarkable invertebrates, they continue to...
New Glowing Shark Species Discovered in Hawaii

New Glowing Shark Species Discovered in Hawaii

A new shark species from the deep waters off the northwestern Hawaiian islands has been discovered recently. Don’t worry, this diminutive creature is less than a foot long, and you won’t see it on our Hawaii snorkeling tours because it has been found only...
About 75 Percent of Marine Animals Glow

About 75 Percent of Marine Animals Glow

Hawaii’s marine life comes in a rainbow of colors, from the black and yellow hues of our butterflyfish to the red and blue tints of our parrotfish. These vibrant creatures keep guests coming for our Maui snorkel tours time and time again. Their flashy colors...
Maui Snorkeling Sightings Hawaiian Octopus

Maui Snorkeling Sightings Hawaiian Octopus

The octopus has recently become quite popular in the online world, but for some of us, it has always been a favorite. This notoriously clever cephalopod mollusk is one of the more uncommon sightings on Maui snorkeling tours, but if you’re lucky, you just might...
Marine Life Spotlight – Reef Triggerfish

Marine Life Spotlight – Reef Triggerfish

The reef triggerfish is one of the most iconic Hawaiian fish, particularly thanks to its name, which is one of the longest words in the Hawaiian language. When literally translated, humuhumunukunukuapua’a means “triggerfish with a snout like a pig.”...
Maui Marine Life Spotlight – Raccoon Butterflyfish

Maui Marine Life Spotlight – Raccoon Butterflyfish

The raccoon butterflyfish is one of the easiest Hawaiian fish to recognize, with the black eye “mask” that they have in common with their namesake. While many Hawaiian butterflyfish feature bright or pale yellow hues, the raccoon butterfly is more of a...
Grey Reef Shark Pups Born at Maui Ocean Center

Grey Reef Shark Pups Born at Maui Ocean Center

Photo Courtesy of Maui Ocean Project: mauioceancenter.com If you love marine life, you may be excited to hear that three grey reef shark pups were very recently born at the Maui Ocean Center in the 750,000 gallon Open Ocean exhibit. One of the pups was a male, and the...
New Hawaiian Fish Species Discovered

New Hawaiian Fish Species Discovered

A beautiful new Hawaiian fish was recently discovered within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and it has been named Tosanoides Obama Pyle. The fish was named after the president in gratitude for his decision to expand the monument, which we discussed...
Marine life to watch for on our Maui Boat Tours

Marine life to watch for on our Maui Boat Tours

On a Maui Boat Tour with Hawaii Ocean Project, you will see a myriad of different marine life. Whether you are on a snorkeling tour, a whale watch tour, or even a dinner cruise, you may see some of Maui’s unique residents and visitors alike. Hawaiian Green Sea...
Humpback Whales are Ocean Heroes

Humpback Whales are Ocean Heroes

Whale watching is one of Maui’s most popular activities and for good reason! Humpback Whales are our beloved seasonal visitors. We love to watch these beautiful animals who perform incredibly acrobatic moves despite their large size. We are constantly in awe of...
New Species of Beaked Whale Discovered in Pacific Ocean

New Species of Beaked Whale Discovered in Pacific Ocean

Marine scientists are buzzing with news of the recent discovery of a beaked whale right here in the Pacific Ocean. Sightings of the whale have been going on in Japan for some time. Japanese fishermen called them “karasu” or ravens, for their exceptionally...
New Blacktip Reef Shark Pups at Maui Ocean Center

New Blacktip Reef Shark Pups at Maui Ocean Center

The Hawaiian word for shark is mano. When it comes to awe-inspiring marine animals, sharks are up there toward the top of the list, so it’s no wonder they hold such a special significance in Hawaiian culture. In fact, for many Hawaiian families, the shark is an...

Spotting Spinner Dolphins on Our Maui Cruises

Dolphin sightings are always an exciting event for our Maui ocean cruise guests, so we thought we’d share some fun facts about these acrobatic mammals. Here in the waters around Maui, spinner dolphins have the highest numbers, and are sometimes seen in large...
Mysterious Fish Discovered in Deepest Part of the Pacific

Mysterious Fish Discovered in Deepest Part of the Pacific

In April, we shared the story of the ghost-like octopus discovered in Hawaii, which earned the affectionate nickname “Casper” from online fans. Now, just a couple of months later, a ghost-like fish has been discovered in the deepest trench of the Pacific...
Highest Endemism in the World Found in Hawaii Reefs

Highest Endemism in the World Found in Hawaii Reefs

The northwestern Hawaiian island chain is home to a very special network of deep coral reefs. Those reefs are part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, and they contain the most abundant collection of endemic species found in any region of the world,...
Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Hawaiian green sea turtles are a common sighting for guests of our Lanai Snorkeling Tours. They graze on the algae and grasses found throughout the reefs, and nest on Hawaii’s beaches. Not only are they wonderful to watch, but they also have a special...
Ghostlike Octopus Discovered in Deep Hawaii Waters

Ghostlike Octopus Discovered in Deep Hawaii Waters

Just when you think Hawaii is out of ecological surprises, someone finds a deep ocean octopus that is very likely to be a new species. As with the new algae species discoveries that we blogged about recently, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration...
Maui’s Peak Whale Season

Maui’s Peak Whale Season

January is drawing to a close as peak whale season approaches. Humpback whales migrate in throngs from their cold Alaskan feeding grounds in the summer to our warm Hawaiian waters in the winter. Although the first sightings of the year are often in October or even as...
Whale Species of Hawaii

Whale Species of Hawaii

Humpback whales tend to get all the attention, especially considering their tremendous size, how aerial they are, and the sheer number that migrate to Hawaii in the winter months. They really know how to steal the show. They also tend to be at their thickest number in...
Cascadia Research Collective Studies Hawaiian Marine Life

Cascadia Research Collective Studies Hawaiian Marine Life

This week, we’d like to highlight some of the exciting efforts of the Cascadia Research Collective, one of the organizations that our Maui ecotourism business supports. Founded in 1979, this extraordinary non-profit specializes in scientific research and...

Why Humpback Whales Come to Maui

By Captain Dave As we all know, Maui is a premier destination for not just humans from across the globe, but for our friends the Humpback Whales as well. What many do not know however is exactly why these magnificent creatures choose to make the trip to Maui in the...