Noma is a "Dolphin" Merfolk. There are several different types, but dolphin merfolk are biologically the closest to us humans, often called our 'underwater cousins.' A compassionate mother of two, she becomes an invaluable ally of Minnow in times when the humans on the Balena fail to understand her needs. She believes the girl is capable of great things and is usually the first to vouch for her, though she may go a little overboard on occasion and land Minnow in spots of trouble.
It is widely believed that merfolk, like man, once lived on land. Noma believes in the old world, her people would hide out of sight from humans along the coast, but once the world was flooded, her species had little choice but to start interacting with the humans of the time, or drown from exhaustion. It was in those trying years that a partnership formed between the two sister species. While in the water, the merfolk communicate with ships and each other by "singing" to them. Through this network, the hard to spot merfolk can warn civilians to elude encroaching pirate ships. If not for this connection, these ship-bound communities may be far more isolated from each other, and more primitive due to setbacks resulting from pirate attacks.
In recent years, most dolphin merfolk have taken residence in the shallows, new areas where masses of land will soon appear. Able to raise their young in these pockets of relative safety, the merfolk have become less dependent on ships for places to rest, but this has not weakened their bond with humanity, and many of them regularly bring their families to social gatherings to get human and merfolk children familiarized early on, promoting life long friendships between the species.