Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region

Marine Life of Midway Atoll

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge includes nearly 300,000 acres of lagoon and surrounding nearshore waters. Over 250 species of fish and a huge diversity of marine invertebrates inhabit the lagoon and surrounding waters.

Sharing the marine habitat are approximately 50-65 Hawaiian monk seals, representing a species that is in serious jeopardy of extinction. Midway's beaches provide critically important habitat where monk seals raise their pups. Threatened green sea turtles are most common offshore of Sand Island's beaches, but they are seen by divers and fishermen throughout the lagoon and surrounding nearshore waters. A population of about 250 spinner dolphins also inhabit Midway's lagoon during daylight hours and typically exit the lagoon each evening to feed in deeper waters.

Listed here, in Portable Document Format (pdf) format, are examples of Midway's marine life one can expect to encounter while beach combing, snorkeling, or SCUBA diving. This list is designed to be used with several photographic guides which will help in the identification of the organisms. These photographic guides include "Seaweeds of Hawai'i", "Hawaiian Reefs and Tidepools", "Hawaiian Seashells" and, "The Whales of Hawai'i".

Checklist of Reef Fishes of Midway Atoll (pdf - 435k)

For a more in-depth look at Midway's marine fauna, click on:

Last updated: March 22, 2010