The bay is known for its rich marine biodiversity, and over the years, it has become a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. Visitors to Hanauma Bay can expect to see a variety of tropical fish species. Here are some of the most common and notable species found in the bay:
Hawaiian State Fish (Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa or Reef Triggerfish): This is perhaps the most famous fish in Hawaii due to its unique name and vibrant colors. It has a distinctive shape with blue and yellow stripes and a dark spot that looks like a second eye.
Parrotfish: These are colorful fish that play an essential role in the health of coral reefs. They eat algae on corals and excrete sand, helping to prevent algae overgrowth.
Butterflyfish: Characterized by their flat bodies and striking patterns, butterflyfish are a common sight in Hanauma Bay. They come in various species, each with unique colorations and patterns.
Surgeonfish: Recognizable by the sharp spines near their tails, surgeonfish are often blue or gray. One common type you might see is the Yellow Tang, which is bright yellow and is frequently found in Hawaiian waters.
Wrasses: This diverse group of fish comes in various sizes and colors. The ornate wrasse and bird wrasse are two species you might encounter in the bay.
Moorish Idol: This fish stands out due to its long, extended dorsal fin and striking black, white, and yellow bands. It’s often mistaken for a type of butterflyfish but belongs to its family.
Trumpetfish: These long, slender fish can often be seen floating vertically among corals or other hiding spots, waiting to prey on smaller fish.
Boxfish: These small, square-shaped fish are intriguing to observe. They move with a peculiar hovering motion and come in various colors.
Eels: While not a fish in the traditional sense, moray eels are another creature you might spot in the crevices of Hanauma Bay’s reefs. The Whitemouth moray eel is a common species in Hawaiian waters.
Raccoon Butterflyfish: With its white body marked with two black bands and a yellow margin on its body and fins, this is a standout fish that’s commonly found around the bay.