10 Fun Facts About Octopuses

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 grow in popularity. You’ll need sharp eyes and a lot of luck to spot an octopus on our tours, whether you opt for our Molokini or Lanai snorkeling tour, but if you do, you’re in for a treat. They’re a lot of fun to watch as they prowl around the reef in search of a meal. If you’re curious about the qualities that make the octopus stand out in comparison with its marine neighbors, here are our 10 Fun Facts About Octopus.

1. Native Hawaiian octopus species include the Night Octopus (he’e) and the Day Octopus (he’e-mākoko).

2. While octopuses are often described as having eight tentacles, the correct term is arms. Those arms contain two-thirds of the neurons in an octopus, meaning they are quite capable of functioning on their own, even if they’ve been cut off. And if an octopus does lose an arm, it simply grows a new one.

3. Octopuses are considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They’ve been documented not just learning from experience, but maintaining short- and long-term memory. They also improvise on shelter with whatever is available, such as coconut husks.

4. The skin of an octopus is capable of changing color, pattern and texture depending on the surrounding environment. This incredible camouflage ability isn’t the only thing that makes their skin special. It also contains the same light-sensitive proteins that are found in the eyes of the octopus. That means the skin can respond to the light around it without the eyes or the brain being involved.

5. As if their unparalleled camouflage skills weren’t enough, octopuses can release a cloud of black ink to obscure the view of an attacker as they slip away, like a ninja with a smoke bomb.

6. Octopuses have no bones in their bodies, which makes them incredibly flexible. It also means they can squeeze through tiny cracks.

7. Not only can they easily get out of things, but they can get into things as well. Researchers at the Seattle Aquarium tested a Pacific giant octopus against a childproof pill bottle. The octopus opened it in five minutes.

8. A common octopus has no less than 240 suckers on each arm, and just one large sucker can hold up to 35 lbs. The suckers can move individually and are extremely sensitive to what they touch.

9. Octopuses have three hearts. One pumps blood through the body, while the other two pump blood through each of their gills.

10. Octopuses typically live just a few years, and some species only live six months. This makes their problem solving abilities all the more impressive, because they have so little life experience to draw from in comparison with humans.

In addition to all these amazing qualities, the octopus is culturally significant in Hawaii. Na aumakua are considered to be physical embodiments of legends and mythology from Hawaii’s history, anchored in the form of an animal. These animals are revered as spiritual counselors, and the octopus is among Hawaii’s collection of aumakua. The lessons of the octopus aumakua are tied into qualities like flexibility, intelligence, and a multifaceted nature. So if you see one, a kupuna (elder) might tell you to embrace those qualities, and that there will be benefits if you do so!

If you have any questions about the creatures you encounter on our Maui snorkel tours, don’t hesitate to ask our knowledgeable staff, and they will be happy to answer. Mahalo!

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 at depths of 1,000 feet. That explains its most exciting feature: it glows in the dark. Very little light is able to reach such great depths, so many creatures living there make their own. In the case of this shark, the light attracts its prey.

The new species is a member of the Lanternshark family, and measures under a foot in length and two pounds when fully grown. This particular species, Etmopterus lailae, has taken over 17 years to identify since its first discovery. Although it was first seen then, marine scientists were only recently able to confirm that it is a new species.

The discovery was published in the journal Zootaxa. Stephen M. Kajiura was one of the co-authors, and he began working on the project when he was still in graduate school at the University of Hawaii. He now has a Ph.D., works as a professor of biological sciences, and is the director of the Elasmobranch Research Laboratory in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University.

According to Kajiura, there are a total of 450 known species of sharks worldwide, which isn’t much, so identifying a new shark species is a pretty exciting situation, for those who discovered it, along with the scientific community and marine life enthusiasts. Given the tiny size of the shark, and its deep water habitat, finding it in the first place was even luckier than the average new species discovery.

After a rigorous process of comparisons between the physiology of this shark versus other specimens of similar species, the participating scientists found that Etmopterus lailae was different from other Lanternsharks. It has an unusually large, bulging snout that indicates special adaptations. The nostrils are prominent, and so are the olfactory organs, which are involved in processing smells. Being a predator in the deep, dark ocean at 1,000 feet requires this species to have an especially good sense of smell.

Although there are a number of differences between this shark and other Lanternsharks, it does have the bioluminescence in common with its relatives. Marine scientists have attributed this trait to several possible functions, including mate recognition, camouflage, and the ability to lure small prey. It’s amazing, the kinds of adaptations you see from marine creatures in the Hawaiian island chain. Although this elusive little creature was an extremely rare find for scientists, you can see a wide variety of stunning marine life when you join us aboard our Lanai Snorkeling Tour and our Molokini Snorkeling Tour. Exploring the underwater world in Hawaii is one of the most enjoyable experiences vacationers can have. We hope you’ll join us soon! Mahalo!

5 Uniquely Hawaiian Fish Species Found in Maui Coral Reefs

5 Uniquely Hawaiian Fish Species Found in Maui Coral Reefs

Thinking about joining us for a Maui snorkeling tour? Ours can take you to the lovely little crescent island of Molokini, or to the scenic shores of neighboring Lanai island. No doubt you’re most excited about the fascinating types of marine life that you’ll discover, and aside from the turtles and dolphins that we frequently see on our tours, there are some truly special fish that you may see as you explore these vibrant underwater ecosystems. What makes them special? About 20 percent of the reef fish that live in Hawaii are found nowhere else on Earth. Some are sighted frequently, others on rare occasion. We can’t list them all in one blog, so here are five of the most beautiful, recognizable, and uniquely Hawaiian fish that you might spot on our snorkeling tours.

Potter’s Angelfish (Centropyge potteri)

Hawaiian Name: None

Sighting Frequency: Rare

Physical Description: Disc-shaped fish that grows to about 5 inches in length. Coloration is vivid orange marbled with turquoise. Rich royal blue tail color with nearly black marbling extends through the middle of the body to the base of the head.

This is the only common angelfish found in Hawaii’s reefs, and also one of the most stunning of all fish you might encounter here. Sightings are rare because it prefers branching corals and ledges deeper than 20 feet. Active during the day, it remains close to the shelter of the coral while feeding on algae and detritus typically found on dead coral surfaces.

Saddle Wrasse (Thalassoma duperrey)

Hawaiian Name: hīnālea lauwili

Sighting Frequency: Common

Physical Description: A long-bodied fish reaches up to 11 inches in length. The body is predominantly dusky green. The head typically features a deep royal blue hue, followed by a bold orange vertical stripe, which is also followed by a soft white stripe in males.

This fish is one of the most common, recognizable sightings that you can find in the reefs around the main Hawaiian islands, including Molokini and Lanai, where we operate our tours. This opportunistic feeder can be found gliding around the reefs, pecking at invertebrates, fish eggs, and algae. They can sometimes be seen spawning in groups in spring and summer afternoons during new moon phases in low tide. The behavior involves the group darting upward and releasing clouds of sperm and eggs before descending back to the reef.

Bandit Angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus)

Hawaiian Name: None

Sighting Frequency: Rare

Physical Description: Disc-shaped fish that grows to about seven inches. Easily distinguished by the thick black bar running from its eyes to the end of its body just above the tail. The body is cream colored above the bar and pure white below the bar. Another thick black streak runs along the end of its tail and down to the anal fin.

One of the most vivid of Hawaii’s reef fish because its bold white and black coloration, this fish is hard to miss when you’re in its habitat. You will not often spot one of these while snorkeling, but if SCUBA diving, you may find it feeding on sponges at 70+ feet in depth. Interestingly enough, this fascinating fish is found in depths as shallow as 25 feet around the cooler Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Sergeant (Abudefduf abdominalis)

Hawaiian Name: mamo

Sighting Frequency: Common

Physical Description: Disc-shaped, and growing up to 9 inches in length. A silvery blue fish with vertical black stripes and a splash of yellow at the center of the body for adults (top of the body for juveniles).

The Hawaiian Sergeant is one of the more common attractive species that you can find in many shallow reef environments while snorkeling. The sergeant tends to be found in aggregations just above the reef outcrops and ledges. In these areas, they feed on zooplankton carried by the current.

Fantailed Filefish (Pervagor spilosoma)

Hawaiian Name: ‘ō’ili ‘uwi ‘uwi

Sighting Frequency: Rare

Physical Description: Football shaped fish growing up to about 7 inches in length. The body is predominantly yellow, mottled throughout by small black spots. The head comes to a sharp point at the mouth, which is white at the tip. The tail is bright orange and shaped like a fan, with a black stripe and a yellow stripe at the end. A pronounced dorsal spine is located at the top of the head, directly above the eye.

This versatile species can be found between 30 and 60 feet, but have also been found in both deeper and shallower waters among the coral reefs. An opportunistic feeder, this species will dine on everything from algae to invertebrates. Sightings tend to be rare because you never know when or where this flashy fish will pop up, and their population cycles could be described as boom-or-bust. Let’s hope you’re out snorkeling with us during one of their booms.

We hope to see you aboard one of our Maui snorkeling tours soon so you can enjoy the beauty of Hawaii’s stunning coral reefs and the many beautiful species that make their home there. If you have any questions about the many creatures that you see, feel free to ask our knowledgeable crew about them. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. Mahalo!

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 wouldn’t exist without the sunlight, and all its various wavelengths bouncing around and reflecting back at us. But what happens in the dark? Light can only penetrate to 656 feet into the ocean. Now, consider that the average depth of the ocean is about 14,000 feet. You can just imagine how much of the ocean’s residents live in complete darkness. Well, almost complete darkness. As it turns out, glowing marine life is more common than scientists originally thought.

Based on some recent discoveries, scientists have found that an incredible three-quarters of marine animals create their own light, which is known as bioluminescence. On April 4, 2017, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports helped to quantify how many species are capable of producing light.

It turns out that the majority of sea life can glow, including jellyfish, squids, worms, and many others, not just the popularized angler fish that lures prey with their little flashing lights. Scientists are also starting to look more carefully at which species are bright versus dim. Most are subtle with their glow, which made their abilities easy to miss, especially given the limitations of many camera types. Also, when you’re in an environment with no outside light source, a little of your own goes a long way. Most of these creatures are careful with their light levels, because they don’t want to attract predators by being too flashy. In fact, many can turn their lights off when they’re feeling cautious.

One of the most fascinating aspects of these recent discoveries is that the researchers found that bioluminescence included approximately 75 percent of creatures across all layers of the ocean, not just the deeper waters. This was just as surprising to scientists as everyone else, because it was commonly assumed that deep dwellers were more likely to glow. Since their research has only been performed in Monterey Bay, off the coast of California, there’s always a chance that the percentages will shift as more locations are studied around the world. That being said, if depth isn’t a factor, we may soon find out that the vibrant Hawaiian marine life that flourishes in our coral reefs is a little more brilliant than we thought.

The study found that the largest of these bioluminescent creatures were the jellyfish and siphonophores (like the Portuguese man ‘o war). In fact, 99 percent of the species in those groups were found to produce light. As if people didn’t find jellyfish mesmerizing enough! The biggest share of the glow found specifically between 4,920 feet and 7,380 feet actually came from marine worms. Below 7,380 feet, around half the bioluminescent organisms were larvaceans, free-swimming little filter feeders.

Another exciting part of the study to consider is that bioluminescence may be able to help marine scientists estimate the number of animals in the deep ocean. Once they find out the proportion of animals that glow, they could possibly measure the brightness of the surrounding bioluminescence to estimate the total number of individuals in the area.

If you happen to be a fellow marine life enthusiast and you want to learn more, you can read about the study published in Scientific Reports. In the meantime, we hope to see you aboard one of our Hawaii snorkeling tours.

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 spot one. In fact, they’ve even been seen right here in the Lahaina Harbor, the departure point for our Maui ocean charters. The octopus is nothing if not surprising, and this is likely one of the reasons why it has become so popular.

The type of octopus that you’re most likely to see here is the Hawaiian day octopus, known as he’e in the Hawaiian language. He’e tends to be small, and generally a combination of brown and tan mottled hues. It typically lives anywhere from the shallow reef flats to the deep reef slopes as deep as 150 ft (45 m). As its name implies, this species is most active during the day, and will hide in its den where it can sleep at night. You’re much less likely to spot the night octopus, which is just as common, but nocturnal. Known as he‘e-makoko in Hawaiian, this species sports a rusty red hue, with spots of white. Unlike its diurnal cousin, the night octopus hunts at night and sleeps in its den throughout the day. Both species are small as octopus go, tending to grow to a maximum of 10 lbs (45 kg), and a span of two to three feet (0.9 m).

Both kinds of Hawaiian octopus can often be tracked back to their den by looking for a pile of broken crab and snail shells, which are remnants of their past meals usually found just outside their doorsteps, so to speak. These clever hunters will come up with all kinds of strategies for reaching their prey, and are widely considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates. In fact, scientists have documented many situations where an octopus learns from its experiences. Everyone knows its arms are nimble and capable, but fewer people know that its eyesight is particularly keen as well. It can easily detect changes in color and movement, which helps it locate both predator and prey.

One of the more popular adaptations of the octopus is the ability to change its skin color and even texture to blend in with its surroundings. This has been an invaluable ability, made possible by millions of pigment cells known as chromatophores, which expand or shrink to create color patterns. This ability helps it communicate with other octopuses, hide from predators or wait in ambush for unsuspecting prey that may wander nearby. When necessary, the octopus can spring into action, darting through the water to get to safety, or to grab that tasty crab that’s trying to escape. Their flexible bodies also allow them to squeeze into small spaces for the same purposes.

We hope that you’ll join us aboard our Molokini or Lanai snorkeling tour. If you’re lucky, patient, and have keen eyes, you may just spot one of these dynamic and elusive coral reef residents. If you need any assistance booking your trip, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Just remember, if you book online, you will save 10% on all our activities.

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.” It’s true, the snout is long and sometimes a bit on the pink side in hue. Like most other triggerfish, the reef triggerfish has a football-shaped body, with its head comprising more than a third of its total size.

Another way you can easily recognize this particular fish is by its colors and markings. Its snout is the palest part of its body, which is divided from the gold tones of the top of its back by a large band of black that dominates its underside. Then of course there’s the bold yellow outline near its tail that looks like an arrow pointing toward its eye. It really is quite the remarkable fish, in both name and appearance.

The reef triggerfish is a common sighting on our Molokini snorkel tours. Of course we never know which species are going to show up on any given tour, but that’s half the fun! Molokini is a small crater island off Maui’s southern coast, and its beautiful coral reefs attract many species, including the reef triggerfish, which typically feeds on invertebrates hiding in the sand.

This species features close-set teeth that help it capture its small prey, and you will often see it spitting out sand as it sifts through the substrate. It can also blow jets of water from its mouth to clear the sand away and make its hunting strategy a bit easier. Triggerfish are named for their spines, which they use to lock themselves in crevices so that predators have a hard time removing them. The reef triggerfish will sometimes make grunting noises when fleeing predators, which may have contributed to early Hawaiians finding them to be pig-like. Marine scientists believe these noises act as a warning call for other triggerfish.

If you do spot the reef triggerfish, you will usually find it alone, as they prefer the solitary life, and will often act aggressively toward one another if they cross paths. You may also notice that this fish can rapidly alter their coloration, like their other triggerfish relatives and many other marine species. They are known to “turn their colors off” and assume a drab appearance while asleep or submissive, helping them to fade into the background to avoid confrontation. When a triggerfish is healthy and confident, you will see those vibrant colors.

We hope you’ll get to see at least one of these magnificent fish on our Molokini snorkel tour. If you need our assistance identifying the fish that you see, don’t hesitate to ask, and our knowledgeable naturalists will help. Mahalo!

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 rich gold color, which gives it a deep, dusky look when combined with its contrasting black and dark brown markings. When they make an appearance on our snorkeling tours, they’re hard to miss because of their bold coloration and their moderate size at 8 inches in length.

This fish is referred to as Chaetodon lunula in the scientific community, while its Hawaiian name is kikakapu  kap. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is its broad distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific, East Africa, Micronesia, Polynesia, southern Japan, and even Australia’s Lord Howe Island. This was partly made possible because its diet consists of many types of soft-bodied invertebrates like worms, sea anemones, nudibranchs, and sometimes algae and coral polyps, which can be found in many marine habitats.

If you spot the raccoon butterflyfish on our Maui snorkeling tours, it will usually be traveling in pairs or aggregations in shallow reef flats, but Scuba divers can see them in waters as deep as 75 feet. It is often seen during the day, but has also been found to be active at night.

When you snorkel in Hawaii, you’ll find that there are many types of butterflyfish, and they generally share some combination of yellow, black and white coloration. However, not all of the fish with these colors are butterflyfish. The common exceptions are the schooling bannerfish and the Moorish idol, which are often mistaken for each other as well as butterflyfish. Generally, butterflyfish will feature an oblong disc shape to their bodies, while the schooling bannerfish and Moorish idols can be likened to an almost crescent moon shape.

If you’re interested in learning about the types of fish that you see on our snorkeling tours, don’t hesitate to ask our knowledgeable guides! They can tell you all about the many colorful members of the coral reef ecosystem that has delighted so many snorkelers and Scuba divers over the years. On that note, if you need our assistance booking your snorkeling tour, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo, and we hope to see you soon!

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 other two were females, with an average length of 22 inches. The pups were born after an 11-12 month gestation period.

To ensure the safety of the pups, the aquarists of course transferred them to a protected quarantine zone before it was announced by Curatorial Director John Gorman that all would be released into the ocean offshore. Evidently, the pups are born ready for independent survival, needing no care from their mother. That means they are born knowing how to hunt for the free swimming bony fish that are their preferred prey.

Conveniently for the aquarium, grey reef sharks are native to our waters, so their habitat is all around the island, although they have their favorite areas like most other species. Releasing the pups is the standard choice of the aquarium, but they do sometimes raise them to adulthood to educate the public about the species.

The MOC has been so successful in keeping their sharks that they have seen many shark births at their facility since they opened their doors, such as whitetip reef sharks, sandbar sharks, grey reef sharks and blacktip reef sharks. In fact, we recently blogged about the blacktip pups that were added to the aquarium’s collection in July.

If you want to see sharks, the aquarium is the way to go. They are uncommon sightings if you’re joining us on our Molokini Snorkel Tour or our Lanai Snorkel Tour, a fact that most snorkelers appreciate. With us, you’re likely to see Hawaiian green sea turtles and a myriad of brightly colored fish. We hope you’ll join us soon! If you need assistance with your tour booking, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

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 last week. Also, the fish bears similarities with the president’s campaign logo colors, which helped scientists finalize their decision.

This particular species is from the genus Tosanoides, and was discovered at Kure within the monument, which happens to be the world’s northernmost atoll. This member of the Tosanoides genus is the only one that exists outside the waters of Japan. At some point in history, a population happened to find its way from Japanese waters all the way to Kure, where their isolation and new habitat cultivated their unique traits, until they became their own species. What a journey it must have been!

The monument includes no less than 17 genera and 22 species (so far) that scientists have found nowhere else in the world, meaning it has the highest rate of marine endemism ever recorded. Considering all the untouched coral reefs and seamounts, it’s no surprise that the monument is such an oasis to animal life. Its 7,000 plus species include endangered turtles, monk seals and seabirds, along with a host of other dynamic species.

The main Hawaiian islands, including Maui, are located at the southeastern end of the chain. They are the youngest and therefor largest of the islands, but a fantastic array of marine species have had plenty of time to establish themselves off our scenic coastlines. To explore some remarkable Hawaiian reefs, we hope you’ll try both our Molokini snorkel tour and our Lanai snorkel tour.

If you need our assistance with your Maui ocean activities, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We are currently offering a 10% discount for all our activities if you book online, but this may change in the future, so we hope you’ll take advantage of it now! Mahalo!

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 Turtles and Humpback Whales are some of the usual crowd favorites, but you may get a chance to see a rarer marine mammal and another friend who likes to jump for joy!

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Green Sea Turtles can be found all over the world, but the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is genetically distinct from the other Green Sea Turtle populations. Meaning it can only be found in our waters! Their Hawaiian name is ‘Honu’. A typical adult Green Sea Turtle is 4-5 feet long and weighs around 250 pounds. Their diet primarily consists of algae, which contributes to their green coloring as their shells are not actually the color green.  You will see these mellow creatures meandering around near shores and munching on algae. You may also see them basking and relaxing on the shores.

Hawaiian Spinner Nose Dolphins
When Hawaiian Spinner Nose Dolphins are born they will be about 2.5 feet long and will grow up to 5-6 feet long. A good way to differentiate between Spinner Nose Dolphins and other dolphins is the size of the dorsal fin, which will always be smaller than the Bottlenose or Pan-Tropical Spotted Dolphin. You may be wondering why they are called ‘Spinner Nose Dolphins’ and this is because of their acrobatic spinning they perform coming out of the water. They can spin up to SEVEN times! They are often seen swimming at the bow of the boats and this is because of the compression wave which forms. The dolphins love to ‘surf’ these waves just off of the bow. Dolphins travel in pods so where you spot one, there are more close by!

Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale
On one of our recent Maui Boat tours to Lanai, we were fortunate enough to be accompanied by a pod of dolphins as well as a pod false killer whales. Dolphin sightings are common on our trips to Lanai but we do not see the False Killer Whales as often! However, the two do interact and often travel together. The False Killer Whale is one of the largest members of the oceanic dolphin family. They prefer tropical and temperate waters like Hawaii’s climate. The Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whales are genetically distinct and are endangered. Their name comes from their resemblance to the Killer Whale.  They can range in size from 15-foot females to 20-foot males and weigh up to 1,500 pounds! Their lifespan can exceed 60 years. Although not a usual sighting on our trips, it is amazing to see them when they do appear.

Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales are large baleen whales that can weigh up to 45 tons and be up to 52 feet long. They can perform surprising acrobatic movements in the air, much to our delight! Humpback Whales migrate to Hawaii each year during whale season which is between November and May. In Hawaii, they breed, nurse, and calf their young. An interesting fact about these gentle giants is that they do not eat the entire time they are in Hawaii. This is because the sustenance they rely on is not present to the degree they need in the waters around Maui. Whale watching is undoubtedly one of Maui’s most popular activities. On a whale watch tour, you will get the chance to see the whales jump and slap, and you’ll learn about their behaviors from our experienced crews.

Hawaii Ocean Project runs Maui Ocean Tours 6 days a week to the neighboring island of Lanai and the crater Molokini, where you will have the chance to see these incredible creatures in action! During whale season, we offer exhilarating Whale Watches as well.

For more information, check out our tours page and like us on Facebook!