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Hawaii's Fin-tastic Wonders: A Guide to the Most Common Fish Found in Hawaii



Snorkeling in Hawaii is a great way to explore the underwater world and see a variety of marine life. Here are some of the most common types of fish that you might see when snorkeling in Hawaii:

  1. Yellow Tang: This is one of the most common fish that you'll see when snorkeling in Hawaii. They are brightly colored, with a yellow body and black eyes, and are often found near coral reefs.

  2. Parrotfish: These fish are named for their brightly colored scales, which can range from blue to green to purple. They are often found near coral reefs and are known for their ability to change color.

  3. Butterflyfish: As their name suggests, these fish are known for their beautiful, butterfly-like appearance. They are often found near coral reefs and have a distinctive black and white pattern on their bodies.

  4. Trumpetfish: These elongated fish are named for their trumpet-like appearance and are often found near coral reefs. They are known for their ability to change color and can range in color from yellow to purple.

  5. Surgeonfish: These fish are named for the sharp, scalpel-like scales on their tails and are often found near coral reefs. They are brightly colored and have a distinctive oval shape.

  6. Angelfish: These fish are known for their elegant, flowing fins and vibrant color patterns. They are often found near coral reefs and can range in color from blue to yellow to orange.

  7. Damselfish: These small fish are often found near coral reefs and are known for their colorful scales and aggressive behavior. They are generally blue or purple in color and have distinctive markings on their bodies.

  8. Goatfish: These fish are named for their distinctive barbels, or "whiskers," which they use to locate food in the sand. They are often found near coral reefs and can range in color from yellow to red to brown.

  9. Pufferfish: These fish are known for their ability to inflate their bodies when threatened. They are often found in shallow lagoons and have a distinctive round shape.

  10. Wrasse: These fish are known for their bright colors and distinctive patterns. They are often found near coral reefs and have a elongated body with a pointed head.

  11. Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaii state fish): This colorful fish is native to Hawaii and is often found near coral reefs. It has a distinctive diamond-shaped body and is blue and yellow in color.

There are many different types of fish that you might see when snorkeling in Hawaii. From brightly colored parrotfish to exotic trumpetfish, you're sure to see a wide variety of marine life during your snorkeling adventure.


To get the most out or your snorkeling experience it is also important to follow a few safety guidelines to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are a few tips to consider while snorkeling:

  1. Wear a life jacket: Even if you are a strong swimmer, it's a good idea to wear a life jacket while snorkeling. This will help you stay afloat and make it easier to rest when you get tired.

  2. Use a snorkel float: A snorkel float is a small inflatable tube that you can attach to your snorkel. It helps to keep your snorkel above the water, which makes it easier to breathe and reduces the risk of drowning.

  3. Stay close to shore: It's a good idea to stay within a few hundred feet of the shore while snorkeling. This will ensure that you are never too far from safety in case of an emergency.

  4. Wear reef safe sunscreen: It's important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays while snorkeling. Be sure to use a reef safe sunscreen that is free from harmful chemicals that can damage the coral reefs and marine life.

  5. Don't touch the marine life: While it can be tempting to touch the colorful fish and other marine life that you see while snorkeling, it's important to resist the urge. Many species can be easily damaged by human contact, and some can even be poisonous.

  6. Stay hydrated: It's important to drink plenty of water while snorkeling, especially if you are in a hot climate. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and other health issues, so be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your snorkeling adventure.

  7. Snorkel with a buddy: It's always a good idea to snorkel with a buddy, especially if you are in a new or unfamiliar location. This will help ensure that you have someone to assist you in case of an emergency.

By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that your snorkeling experience is safe and enjoyable for everyone.


Happy Snorkeling!

The Sunrise Voyagers


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