Hanauma Bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967
Formed within a volcanic cone, today Hanauma Bay offers a pristine marine ecosystem after the City and County of Honolulu laid out a plan in 1990 to restore the “curved bay,” after years of neglect and abuse from the millions of visitors who visit and love to snorkel Hanauma Bay. Part of this plan requires first-time visitors to watch a video before entering the park so they can learn about the marine life, preservation, conservation, and safety rules for the State Park. All visitors are required by law to refrain from mistreating the marine animals and from touching or walking on the coral heads.
Hanauma Bay sees on average 3000 visitors a day, or around one million visitors per year. The vast majority are tourists, but locals love this beach as well. The bay is closed to the public every Tuesday, Christmas Day and New Years Day to allow the fish a day of feeding without interruption.
Hanauma Bay Wildlife
Hanauma Bay snorkeling is so popular because of the wide variety of species in the bay. In addition to the turtles, snorkelers can take a peek at the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (the state fish of Hawaii) milletseed butterfly fish, yellow tangs, trumpet fish, angel fish, and many more.
By purchasing an underwater camera, you can take great pictures of the colorful fish and other sea creatures. It will make your trip to Hanauma Bay all the more memorable.
Hawaii is a state very committed to protecting its natural wildlife. Since the early 1990s, visits to the Hanauma Bay area have been limited to tourists. The resident Hawaiians are attempting to preserve the area for future generations. As a visitor, you can help with these efforts by obeying all rules for visiting the park. You need to respect the wildlife there and visit without leaving a large impact on the area.