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The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was created by Congress in 1992 to protect humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiʻi. It is administered by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). The sanctuary is located from the shoreline to the 100-fathom isobath (600 ft. depth) in the four island area of Maui; Penguin Bank; and off the north shore of Kauaʻi, the north and south shores of Oʻahu, and the north Kona and Kohala coast of Hawaiʻi Island. Discover marine life and extraordinary habitats that make up your nation's marine sanctuaries and our continuing efforts to conserve these ocean and coastal treasures.

The sanctuary is jointly managed via a cooperative federal-state partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawaiʻi through the Department of Land and Natural Resources.


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Sanctuary News & Features

Joint Statement from Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Coast Guard: Entangled humpback whale freed of gear off Maui


Humpback Whales: navigating an ocean of change

In late December 2015, Ed Lyman started getting calls from whale watching companies on the island of Hawai‘i. "Ed, how are the whales off Maui?" tour operators were asking. "We've never seen them arrive this late." Read the story

NMSF
Support the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
Explore
Visit our Visitor Center in Kihei, Maui
Watch
Watch whales in the sanctuary
breaching humpback whale
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