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Humpback Whale

Hawaii State Marine Mammal

Humpback whale breach; photo by danbruell on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Official State Marine Mammal of Hawa'i

Hawaii designated the endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) as official state marine mammal in 1979. Hawaii adopted a second mammal symbol in 2008; the Hawaiian monk seal (also endangered), and a third in 2015 (Hawaiian hoary bat). All State Mammals - All Aquatic Life Symbols

Humpback whales were common in oceans worldwide before their population was depleted by commercial whaling. Through an international ban on commercial whaling and protections under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the North Pacific humpback whale population has begun to increase. The number of humpback whales that use Hawaiian waters as their principle wintering ground is estimated to be more than 10,000 animals. There is a humpback whale marker in West Maui that pays tribute to this gentle giant.