Maui, the second-largest island in Hawaii, is a paradise for sea life enthusiasts. The warm, crystal-clear waters surrounding the island are home to a variety of unique marine creatures that are sure to capture the hearts of both locals and visitors alike. Let’s explore some of the most unique sea life in Maui and where you can find them!

Green Sea Turtles

Green sea turtles, known locally as Honu, are one of the most iconic marine creatures in Maui. These gentle giants can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 500 pounds. They are named after the greenish color of their body fat, which is caused by their vegetarian diet. Honu are a protected species, and it is illegal to touch or harass them. One of the best places to spot these beautiful creatures is at the popular Ho’okipa Beach Park on the north shore as well as on a trip to Turtle Reef

Manta Rays

Manta rays are another unique sea life in Maui. These majestic creatures can grow up to 23 feet wide and weigh up to 3,000 pounds. They are filter feeders, feeding on plankton, and are known for their graceful movements underwater. Manta rays are often spotted at night when they feed off the coast of Maui.

Humpback Whales

Every year, humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Hawaii to mate and give birth. This annual migration makes Maui one of the best places in the world to witness these magnificent creatures up close. Humpback whales can be seen from the shore or on a Sail Maui tour during the winter months.


Maui is home to several species of octopuses, including the day octopus and the mimic octopus. These intelligent creatures are known for their ability to change color and shape to blend in with their surroundings. They can often be spotted hiding in coral reefs or rocky areas along the shore and in Molokini Nature Preserve.

Spinner Dolphins

Spinner dolphins are a small species of dolphin known for their acrobatic displays. These playful creatures can often be seen leaping and spinning out of the water near the coast of Maui. This beautiful species is often seen alongside humpback whales and are easily spotted on Sail Maui tours!

Moorish Idols

Moorish idols are a species of fish that are found throughout the Pacific Ocean. These striking fish are known for their black and white stripes and long, trailing dorsal fins. They can often be spotted in the coral reefs surrounding Maui, especially in areas like Honolua Bay and Kapalua Bay. 

Yellow Margin Moray Eels

Yellow margin moray eels are a type of eel that can be found in the rocky crevices and coral reefs around Maui. These eels can grow up to 4 feet long and have distinctive yellow markings around their eyes and mouth. While they may look intimidating, they are generally harmless to humans.

Maui is a haven for unique sea life that is sure to captivate anyone with an interest in ocean life. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a casual beachgoer, there are plenty of opportunities to see these incredible creatures up close. From the gentle green sea turtles to the acrobatic spinner dolphins, Maui’s sea life is truly one of a kind.