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FAQs about Marine Life, Habitats of Hawai'i & Visiting There!

Related Articles: A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Marine Aquarium Fishes of Hawai'i, by Bob Fenner Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,  A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Marine Invertebrates of Hawai'iPart 2, Part 3Part 4, by Bob Fenner

Related FAQs: Hawaiian Triggers, Hawaiian Butterflyfishes

Chaetodon lunula, the Raccoon Butterflyfish


Re: Hawai'iʻs Aquarium Fishery: MACNA 2018 presentation     9/20/18
New version for distribution:
Thank you for all your comments. I have incorporated a few suggested edits and corrections, and removed some images that may have been an issue.
This version can be shared with whomever you feel should view it.
<Real good Bruce. Great to find the pertinent facts, folks in the know explaining what is really going on in a concise presentation.Will share. B>
Re: Hawaii's Aquarium Fishery: MACNA 2018 presentation      9/23/18

et al.
Some of you have followed Rene Umberger’s comments on my YouTube channel concerning my recent post from my MACNA presentation “Hawaii’s Aquarium Fishery: What Happened?” We all know there will never be an end to point / counter-point arguments with her. Instead, I’ve have posted this short essay/commentary as a header on my YouTube comments section. I expect a lengthy reply will come back from Rene but there is little sense in further arguments so she will likely get the last word.
Here is a copy of my YouTube post (https://youtu.be/3src6k-4RG8):
This week I posted a presentation I gave recently at the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America. I figured this post would quickly make its way to Rene Umberger and her organization “For the Fishes”. It did, and she quickly responded with comments posted on my YouTube channel (the video resides on YT not FB). I moderate my own YouTube channel and I rarely delete opposing viewpoints, so I welcome Rene’s comments for others to read.

Coral Magazine (a hobbyist publication) has now published a link to my YouTube video and hopefully a much larger audience of hobbyists will now be directly exposed to “For the Fishes”, and some of their arguments (1,200 views as of September 22 vs. only ca. 200 at the live presentation at MACNA). It is very clear from Rene’s statements that “For the Fishes” should be renamed “For Some of the Fishes”. This is apparent by their silence on the photo of dead achilles tangs in a cooler of ice. Killing fish is apparently OK but efforts to keep fish alive and in good health for aquariums is demonized.

Equally revealing is Rene’s approval of venting for recreational catch-release fishing, but in opposition to the same procedure for aquarium fishes as inhumane and therefore illegal. Aquarium fishermen decompress their fish before bringing them to the surface whereas recreational fishermen do not. But excess pressure usually remains even after in-water decompression, and it has to be vented using a hypodermic needle. While recreational fishermen could do the same, in actual fact, I don’t know of any recreational fishermen who carry hypodermic needles for this purpose.

Recent research (Friedlander, et al. Human-induced gradients of reef fish declines in the Hawaiian Archipelago…Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2017 1-12), has revealed that there have been significant declines in species fished for food (recreational and commercial fishing). Surveys reveal that about 30% of the population in Hawaii are recreational fishermen (the population of this State is about one million so do the math), whereas there are around 200 +/- aquarium fishermen in the state (or “were” since the fishery is mostly closed). Why is there a selective bias against aquarium fish collecting? I will speculate: first, they believe their own alternate facts; second, there are few aquarium fish collectors vs. recreational and commercial fishermen therefore aquarium fishermen are an easy target; third, in public testimony people argue that fishing for food is necessary, but aquariums are not. And last, the history of this conflict brings up the original dispute in the 1970’s between the dive industry and aquarium fishermen. In recent years this argument has all but disappeared, but a commercial interest to eliminate “resource competition” is still possible.

I am not opposed to recreational or commercial fishing. I enjoy eating fresh-caught Hawaiian fish, and recreational fishing has important benefits for kids and families. But let’s face it: most of those fishes die. Aquarium fishermen go to great lengths to ensure that all their fish remain healthy; if they do not, they lose customers and income. It is also clear from current research that many fish species on Hawaii’s reefs deserve greater management protection. So rather than continue this divisive struggle, I would challenge “For (some of) the Fishes” to join scientists and conservation biologists and broaden their efforts to ensure that ALL Hawai’i fisheries are sustainable. One of the best models of a sustainable inshore fishery has already been established by the Hawai’i Aquarium Fishery.
<Thank you for your efforts on all our behalves Bruce. BobF>

Hawaii Dive Collectors    6/16/18
Hi Bob!
I am not sure if this is an email to be posted on WWM, since I haven't read anything there promoting specific individuals but I'm looking for dive contact(s) in Hawaii that could supply me with a harem of Cirrhilabrus jordani for captive breeding purposes in my high school science classroom.
<Mmm; I'd have you contact John Fernley... actually; I'd ask that I be allowed to send your contact info. to him for his (hopeful) response>
I am so excited about the developments being made in captive-bred fish and would like to breed this species since it is endemic, under pressure from collection, and a good candidate for many aquarium setups. I'd also like to get my students involved, so they can see that we all play a part in conservation. I've done extensive research on how Halichoeres melanurus was bred, as well as several species of angelfish. I know that this is quite a challenge to take on, but I think it would be an amazing experience for my students that will provide them with so many learning opportunities. It help them understand how to use their failures as catalysts for improvement, understand how complex our world is, and see that they truly can make a difference.
It's becoming harder to find C. jordani (expiring collection permits that the state isn't renewing and possibly wrong time of year for collection?)
<The species isn't all that common... on Kona (where I usually visit, dive, own property). I've only regularly encountered it on Molokini, out in Maui.>
Even when I do see them, they have been exposed to so many medications through the chain of custody that I am afraid their overall health and fertility are impacted.
I'd like to obtain my fish directly from a diver, so that I can receive them quickly and do my own quarantine procedure with minimal medication, no starvation period, and live cultured foods as well as prepared. Want to go to Hawaii and catch some flame wrasses for me, sir?? I'll pay for your margaritas too!
-Lil Bri
<I might well do so Bri. Not joking. You are scuba certified? Bob Fenner>
Re: Hawaii Dive Collectors      6/17/18

Property in Hawaii? That sounds wonderful! Sadly, I am not certified yet. It’s on my bucket list.
Yes, please do send my information to him!
<Ahh, will do. Have sent a note asking if he might know collectors who have this species>
The best way to get hold of me would be through text/phone call. My number is omitted. If he prefers email, we can correspond through omitted.
<I will send both along, and not post them to WWM>
Feel free to keep my contact info for yourself as well. Perhaps we will cross paths at some point and I can say hello in person.
<Ahh! That would be delightful. Many things to chat about, share. I too did some time as a (H.S. science) teacher. My number, omitted, and email: omitted>
If you do feel like collecting some of those wrasses for me, I’d be happy to purchase them from you. I am very serious about giving this breeding endeavor a try!
You seem very professional, so I’m sure you already plan on doing this, but please delete my contact information before posting this on WWM (if you intend to do so). Thank you very much! I’ll let you know if John Fernley decides to contact me.
<Ah, good. Will do>
Hope to be chatting again soon!
<And you, BobF>
Hawaii Dive Collectors      6/18/18

Hi Bob!
<Hey Bri>
I am not sure if this is an email to be posted on WWM, since I haven't read anything there promoting specific individuals but I'm looking for dive contact(s) in Hawaii that could supply me with a harem of Cirrhilabrus jordani for captive breeding purposes in my high school science classroom.
<I'm still waiting on response from "Furry Slippers"/Fernley in HI>
I am so excited about the developments being made in captive-bred fish and would like to breed this species since it is endemic, under pressure from collection, and a good candidate for many aquarium setups. I'd also like to get my students involved, so they can see that we all play a part in conservation. I've done extensive research on how Halichoeres melanurus was bred, as well as several species of angelfish. I know that this is quite a challenge to take on, but I think it would be an amazing experience for my students that will provide them with so many learning opportunities. It help them understand how to use their failures as catalysts for improvement, understand how complex our world is, and see that they truly can make a difference.
It's becoming harder to find C. jordani (expiring collection permits that the state isn't renewing and possibly wrong time of year for collection?)
<Mmm; yes to the former, but this fish, all aquarium-used fish species are found in Hawaii year round>
Even when I do see them, they have been exposed to so many medications through the chain of custody that I am afraid their overall health and fertility are impacted.
I'd like to obtain my fish directly from a diver, so that I can receive them quickly and do my own quarantine procedure with minimal medication, no starvation period, and live cultured foods as well as prepared.
Want to go to Hawaii and catch some flame wrasses for me, sir?? I'll pay for your margaritas too!
-Lil Bri
<One never knows. BobF>
Re: Hawaii Dive Collectors      6/19/18

Hey Bob,
I don’t collect Flame Wrasses, but you might have her check with Alika Garcia ( 808) 220-1964
Hope all is well
Dead horse ( my HHH given name)
<Hey Rand; thx much... will pass on to Bri. Hope to see you someday soon, above and below water. Dogfish, my HHH and Telex petfish name of long ago. Cheers.>
Re: Hawaii Dive Collectors      6/19/18

Thanks to Dead Horse for his recommendation and thank you for forwarding to me, Bob! I'll give Alika Garcia a call. Will let you know what develops from here!
<Thank you; appreciated>
Also, I'm not sure if my email resent the same message to you again, but guessing so since I received two separate responses from you. Sorry for that! Definitely not my intent to pester.
<Never a bother. Am excited re your project. Am hoping that we will chat up Rising Tide as a source of help. Who knows? Bob Fenner>

mystery fish off Hawaii   12/30/17
Dear crew,
I photographed this fish near the Captain Cook monument off the Big Island of Hawaii. I can't come close to an id. My first thought was Lavender Tang, but no pictures I can find show it with a yellow tail or white fins.
Then, maybe, Yellowtailed Coris, but that seems to be all wrong.
Doug Sprugel
<This is a male/terminal phase Coris gaimard... named by and for the French sailors.... Quoy & Gaimard... females and juveniles are more common... but this isn't a rare fish in Hawaiian waters. Bob Fenner>

Re: mystery fish off Hawaii   12/30/17
Thanks. I've seen smaller ("female") yellowtail Coris many times but didn't recognize this as the mature version without the blue spots, bright colors on the body, and face markings (probably hidden in this picture).
<Ahh; here:

Renee is using your name.....      11/14/17
Hey Bob,
<Hey Rob>
Didn't know if you saw the R2R article and Renee's response. She's claiming to quote you:
Aquatics Leadership: Time to Unify or See the End of the Age <https://www.reef2rainforest.com/2017/11/09/aquarium-industry-under-siege/>
For the last five years, activist groups have pressed a full-court attack against ornamental fishing professionals, hobbyists, and aquarium advocates.
Just thought I'd share if you hadn't see it.
<Appreciated... I take it this is what you're referring to:
"It’s a scare tactic designed to solicit donations so they can, ultimately, protect the bottom line of the trade that considers fish and other wildlife as expendable livestock necessary to drive the lucrative sales of equipment, supplies and fish food (paraphrased statement from Bob Fenner)."
... I don't know what Rene Umberger (and Bob Wintner, aka Snorkel Bob) are paraphrasing, but the two have been misquoting me for about twenty years, and yes... I've asked them to desist, or at the very least NOT "paraphrase" or take anything of mine in print OUT of context. I do wish they would stop; AND I've not ceased defending the industry for all the good we do. I intend to respond to Rene per the citation. Again, I thank you. Bob Fenner <<Interested? Follow the link above. RMF>>
Rob Mougey
Vice President of the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA<http://masna.org/>)

Lots of dead coral. Visiting Hawaii      6/12/17
WWM Crew,
I know many of you frequent the big island and so I was wondering if anyone can help. I'm here until Thursday and I am in the hunt for some healthy reefs.
<Oh; was there a couple weeks back; on the west side>
I've been to the usual spots already (Kahaluu, two step)...and just got out of the water @ Captain Cook (Kealakekua).But the vast majority of the coral are dead! The Porites are interesting but I'm finding hundreds of Pocillopora meandrina skeletons with only a single 18inch colony alive during my entire day in the water. Is there any lesser known spots you guys are familiar with where the coral is alive?
<Better north and south of town... head down past Two Step, S. of Cap. Cooks, or up to Puako or further N.>
I heard they found Acropora saramentosa here in 2015 but the location was never released. Any advice would be awesome!
<I concur re the state of the reefs there... not much come-back from about four and a half years back... Bob Fenner>
Re: Lots of dead coral     6/12/17

Thanks so much Bob! I really appreciate it. I am staying just south of Puako so I will try there in the morning.
<Cheers mate. Enjoy. BobF>

Illegal in Hawaii or not?     BTAs       7/19/16
Hello guys! Greetings from Honolulu Hawaii. I've had a burning question in my mind for a few months now. I have a wonderful FOWLR tank at the moment, with two lovely feather dusters and a Hawaiian sand anemone. I also have
two mated clowns. However, what i really desire in this tank is to have some Bubbletip anemones.
<Let's stop right here. As far as I'm aware no Cnidarians (the phylum of stinging-celled animals that include corals... and anemones) are allowed to be imported into Hawai'i'. There are some native species, but this does not include Entacmaea>
The Hawaiian Sand anemone isn't something the clowns want to host with,
<There are no symbiotic Actinarians, nor Clownfishes... in HI>

and my friend is planning to take it. However, I've heard that Yes, bubble tip anemones ARE illegal in Honolulu...But
then, some are saying its possible to get them, and some people have them.
So would you guys mind clarifying for me as i keep getting mixed results?
Is it possible to have any bubble tip anemones in Honolulu? If so, what is the best way to obtain them?
<Not legally>
Another thing :) I've heard that its possible to collect some nice Zoas here, however, I've no idea where to go, nor how to frag them... I've searched it up quite a bit, but haven't been very successful at finding anything. Any suggestions?
<The Division of Aquatic Resources. There are some native species... can be scraped from rock... tied down to new settings>
Thanks so much! :)
<Welcome Bob Fenner>

Re: Was 6 foot aquarium stand with no center brace on front... Now HI stkg. f'   12/25/11
Thanks for the quick reply!  The stand is built, and I am ready to start putting together filtration.  Since my tortoise will be living under the stand, I cannot use a sump.
<Can/could remote elsewhere...>
 I plan on 100-150 pounds of live rock, an AquaC Remora pro, and circulation pumps for filtration.  I was thinking of using 2-3 500gph Koralia or Aqueon pumps to create flow. 
As far as livestock, my wife wants a Hawaiian tank, so we are thinking of a Volitans lionfish,
<Mmm, not found in HI>
a R. aculeatus trigger, a yellow tang, and maybe a trio of pacific double saddle butterflies.
<Nor these>
  Sound okay to you?
<Maybe just two of the BFs>
Merry Christmas!!
 <And you, Bob Fenner>

Maui aquarium bill making fish pets and subject to humane society enforcement  12/27/09
We are current in a battle with a group trying to put both freshwater and saltwater aquariums under enforcement of the Humane society.
<A dangerous precedent>
I have enclosed a copy of the purposed bill.
<I have looked it over... Mmm, not "needling" most species of fishes brought up from depth, and not trimming some (Tang) species spinous fin portions will cause more mortality, trouble, make livestock from here unproductive, unprofitable. And a law requiring feeding at least every 12 hours?>
One of the leaders is quoting a Bob Fenner article in which he says that only 1% of saltwater fish are alive after one year in captivity.
<These numbers have improved slightly in the last several years... and are much better on average (by all measures of central tendency) for specimens/species collected out of Hawai'i'... Better by far than "natural rates of mortality"; that is, fishes and invertebrates live longer under captive conditions than on HI's reefs. There's more benefit to the resource in the way of increased awareness that the collection and keeping of life brings as well... >
I have read the article and was wondering if this is old data and Bob has a new article pertaining to this.
<Mmm, a few places to "point you": http://wetwebmedia.com/hifwgfaqs.htm
and: http://wetwebmedia.com/sourcesmortworldreefs.htm
and the linked files above>
WE are locked in a battle here and need any help you can offer.
The Maui News article can be found here:
The purposed County Bill:
If you can please help us the County Council has a meeting scheduled in a couple of weeks,
Mike Blietz I'm guilty of owning an aquarium of the worst kind saltwater,
<Mmm, no Mike... we are on the "pro" side of protecting the world's reefs and their inhabitants. I do wish I could be present to offer my input at this Council meeting. I've attended them before; most recently in Kona/Kailua. Do make it known if I can be of assistance.
Bob Fenner><The proposed bill is of a .pdf file that I can't reproduce here>

Aloha from Maui, Hawaiian Reef Resource Use, Humans period   12/17/09
aloha Mr. Fenner and Crew,
My name is Darrel R Smith, I own a custom marine aquarium service business here on the island of Maui. I previously worked in biotechnology and have developed a real appreciation for the subtle science of maintaining captive seas. The fellow who gave me my first job in the industry is Rick Umphress of Oahu, Reef Encounters Hawaii who has been serving the Hawaiian islands for 30 years. He gave me Mr. Fenner's book which Mr. Fenner had autographed for him.
<Hello to you both>
As you know our industry has been under attack for years from The Snorkel Bob Foundation. They have many websites setup to spread their misinformation about the hobby and career we have all come to love.
<Yes... and it/this is indeed a shame. I have known "Bob" for quite a while; a good writer and keen beach-gear rental businessman... I know our fields of interest (snorkeling and ornamental aquatics keeping) to be of identical purpose and direction (fostering appreciation and preservation of living reefs). There is no need, use for antagonism twixt us here.>
I know Eric Koch of Maui Mariculture has contacted you Mr. Fenner, but I wanted to follow up with some new information.
a new website has been created where you, Mr. Fenner are quoted on the front page. I was hoping you could review the site and if you had a moment to perhaps contact the webmaster if indeed you are being misquoted.
<Mmm, well, I have not seen this site, nor given authorization to quote me; and the one statement is dated... Likely a few percent of wild (and captive produced) marine livestock live in excess of a year in captivity nowadays.
Yes, the mortality rate is high... but very likely no higher than natural rates. The aquarium trade does a huge bit of good on the positive side in bringing awareness to the general public and encouraging intelligent, sustainable use of resources around the world, especially important in poor economies.
What is lacking here (on the site, and in general discussions) is "other sources of mortality"... In Hawai'i' in particular, there is a huge loss of tropicals to casual spear fishers and net throwers... and much more than all other causes is environmental degradation IMO. Where is the call for discovering, disclosing, monitoring and regulating these sources of mortality?>
Eric Koch and I are actively defending our trade at marine resource council meetings and in the media. I twice debated Snorkel Bob's co-conspirator, Renee Umberger on a local radio program that discussed environmental issues here on Maui and abroad. We have also done what we can at the state and local govt. level, but our opponents are many and are well funded.
<Yes... the ongoing increase in abusive government sans accountability.
Another "natural trend" in the development of societies>
We are fortunate now that many traditional fisherman here on Maui, some who previously supported Snorkel Bob's version of the truth, are beginning to see through his smoke and mirrors in pursuit of his own personal agenda.
DLNR members too have grown weary of his misconceptions. But we are still in trouble and in need of assistance.
I appreciate the information your website provides, you are an excellent resource. Thanks!
Aloha from Maui,
Darrel Smith
<How is it that I may (further) aid your efforts? I have been steadfast, and still assuredly am "pro-use" of our world. It is my stand that the tropical fish industry does a huge amount of good in our world.
A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner>

Re: aloha from Maui  12/17/09
Hi Bob, Darrel,
I was very interested in the message about Snorkel Bob. I read the question this morning, and hope you don't mind me commenting. I looked over the site, and as someone who actually was educated as a marine biologist, I though the site was disingenuous.
<Good, descriptive adverb here>
For a start, even you accept a 5% survival rate for marine organisms, that's a heck of a lot better than the survival rate for species collected by fisherman targeting edible species.
Indeed, fishing methods like dredging probably have something like a 1000% mortality rate, given that for every one edible fish or prawn captured, at least another nine sizeable marine organisms are thrown overboard, dead, because they are of no commercial value.
A lot of bad numbers seem to come from Exploitation of coral reef fishes for the aquarium trade, a report to the Marine Conservation Society, i.e., Wood 1985. That's a really old study that Bob may be familiar with. I remember reading it when I was in college. While probably an accurate reflection of how marine fish prospered in the 1970s and 1980s, it isn't even remotely relevant to the modern hobby. It would be rather like talking about computer science today quoting from a report written in the 1960s.
There's a lot of stuff that falls into logical fallacies. For example, just because "25 - 30 million animals are traded each year" isn't necessarily the reason why "90% of the reefs show missing groups of fish and rare species" despite the way that section is worded. Indeed, there are very good reasons to put down local changes in diversity to a whole bunch of other factors. If the only species missing are ornamental fish species, that would be one thing, but that isn't stated here.
<And I can assure you, catch-data et al. show declines in most all measured stocks>
If the 90% includes lots of other things that aquarists have no interest in at all, then clearly the whole issue is more complex than Snorkel Bob is making out.
<It is... I'll make a declarative statement here: S.Bob and others have their own unstated agendas... His business likely contributes a very great deal to nearshore reef destruction (renting snorkel gear et al. to neophytes)... In attacking the "trop. trade" here I think he hopes to deflect blame, perhaps legislation and gain some sort of "P.R." as a protector of the reefs>
What worries me here is that the author has enough scientific literacy to be able to read the papers and books, but not enough scientific understanding to weigh all the arguments and synthesise an argument properly.
<Ah, Neale... that's not the intent my friend. What is that favoured definition of rhetoric? "The art of persuasive argument/presentation". The desired result here is to cast dispersions, not enlighten folks.>
Instead the author seems to be cherry picking bits of bad news, stringing them together, and hoping no-one spots the flaws. So you end up with vague, hand-waving statements like "The removal of cleaner fishes may result in higher parasite load on other reef fishes" and "the removal of coral and live rock can destroy reef habitat". Well, yes, these things may happen and can happen, but then again I *may* win the lottery and I *can* make out with a Victoria's Secret model. Doesn't necessarily mean either of those things is likely.
<Dang! Are my chances/odds any better with these?>
The big issues that cause problems for the world's oceans aren't collecting for marine aquaria -- but things like coastal development, dredging, climate change, sewage, and all those other problems that go along with a growing human population. If healthy reefs can be exploited, whether for tourism or ornamental fish collecting, that places a value on them that local people can appreciate.
<And the dollars/currency available for activities/uses will drive these>
Yes, there's an issue on management, and historically fisheries management has been incredibly bad even in Europe and the US, let alone places with weaker traditions of accountability and scientific rigor. But sustainable exploitation of reefs for ornamental fish species is one way to make reefs "pay for themselves" in a world that values profits above anything else.
<Yes; assuredly>
I'd like to have seen Snorkel Bob concentrate on things aquarists could do to help. Have collectors target species with good survival records. Promote ethical collecting methods that reduce mortality and waste. Encourage more captive breeding. Encourage retailers to state the site where a fish was collected, so aquarists can make informed decisions between countries with "good" industries and "bad".
Cheers, Neale
<Were there but time, interest, rationale sufficient in our species. I despair at times to see what "we" throw our resources away on... e.g. some quarter of all GDP on "defense", murdering other peoples to "free them"... Still, there are reasons to not be totally discouraged. Encouraging others to consider their lives, w/in context of the living world, as we do as "content providers" does some good in re-directing people to the positive. We are "in the life business", and I am glad for this. BobF>

Re: aloha from Maui   12/18/09
<And you>
Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. Having previously worked in nuclear power, biologics manufacturing (vaccines) and pharmaceutical manufacturing, I was used to an abusive response from certain groups of people when discussing my livelihood. I thought, when I moved to Maui that I had picked a peaceful and interesting trade that would enrich mine and others lives. Whoops on the peaceful part.
I often make a point to my activist friends about the modern environmental movement and the seemingly ubiquitous nature of the public perception of, and their responsibility to, the biosphere and how impressive that is considering the birth of the modern movement after the Apollo missions is a blink of an eye since we left the caves 50,000 years ago.
<... some not quite>
It is ironic that this same saturation of thought also lends itself to people jumping on the snorkel bob bandwagon because they hear the phrase uttered "environmental impact".
It is difficult to wade through their "feelings" wielding intellectual ammunition in pursuit of some middle ground.
<Mmm, yep>
I was comforted by your response as it echoes that ideas that I have expressed ad nauseum. It is difficult I have found as we aren't dealing with folks who are interested in a lively debate. As soon as it became apparent that I knew what I was talking about and could evaluate their statements and present a fact based reply, they sequestered me from participating in many discussions. My personal theory about the origins of the tropical fishery may have soured them beyond repair. If you are interested I will share.
<Please do>
I agree with you Mr. Fenner, about the impact of spearfisherman.
<Anyone who has spent real time in Hawaii, on any of the islands knows just how huge this "sport" and source of food for indigenous fishers is. Greater than the trop. industry's "take" by far>
Right now, however, Eric Koch and I have discovered that they are slowly coming to grips with the nature of the opposition and perhaps fearing for their own future, should Snorkel Bob's efforts come to fruition, are drifting towards our side. With <4 of us fighting for our lives, any support is welcome. I'm sure the haze is clearing and they fear a precedent for future forays into fishery management by special interests rather than resource users.
I appreciate Neale's ideas regarding positive steps that Snorkel Bob could be taking, they are well thought out and excellent positive statement to offer at marine resource council meetings here.
I'm not sure, Mr. Fenner, how you can be of help. I am formulating a plan that I hope to implement in the new year, When I have more idea about the angle I will pursue I will be in touch. At some point, you refuting the statements attributed to you, may come in to play. Thanks for the offer.
<A pleasure to assist you here>
Thank you again for your detailed replies. On this rock, adrift from most reasoned debate, it was most welcome.
Aloha and Mahalo,
<Be seeing you. BobF>

Hawaiian Reefs In Danger?  12/17/09
Hello Bob,
Being that you have had numerous dives on the Hawaiian Reefs, I'd be very interested to know your feelings as to the comments made in this video.
<Thousands of species of fishes, not hundreds on reefs... Hawaii is NOT the principal source of marine livestock used in the trade, not even in the U.S.. They are not collected in HI in ways that damage the reef intentionally; and NEVER use gill nets as stated... This is a typical one-sided "pro" piece with mis-statements re capture techniques, holding...
As anyone with even just beginning marine aquarium experience will/would know. While I do applaud these folks (I guess the HI Audubon Soc. is involved per the credits at the end) at inspiring intelligent use of the living world, I don't agree with much that is stated here. In particular, the lack of questioning, introduction of other sources of mortality. Please see today's "Daily FAQs" re. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawaiian Reefs In Danger? 12/17/09
Thanks a bunch. I didn't think you would be in total agreement with that.
<Ahh, no. There are some very large challenges facing humans currently... I don't find that adding noise w/o reason is of value.
Cheers and life to you, BobF>

Re: Sohal tang as main focus fish, HI biotope lvstk. sel.  -- 12/14/09
Dear Bob,
Sorry to bother you again but I've looked everywhere in your website and was unable to find an answer.
<Have just looked myself... could have sworn I'd written a survey piece (article) on the Angelfishes of Hawaii, but no>
Is there any Angelfish that belongs to the Hawaiian region?
<Yes. Most celebratedly the Potters (Centropyge potteri) which I do have an article posted re; but the Flame (C. loricula) is found here, though much less expensive from further W. into the Pacific), the Fisher's (C. fisheri), and occasionally the not usually hardy Bandit/Holo Holo (Apolemichthys arcuatus), and some rarer species (the gorgeous Genicanthus personatus and some other Centropyges)>
I was considering doing a Red Sea biotope but since the Sohal Tang is so aggressive, I'm now thinking about doing a Hawaiian biotope with the following fish:
Pair of 6"Crosshatched Triggers or Blue Chin Triggers
One or more 4" Yellow Tang (Could I add 3 of them on the system mentioned below?)
<Mmm, yes. In a 300 gallon tank I think these will do fine in a small grouping>
School of Chromis Vanderbilti (15 to 20 or so)
4" Kole Tang
and maybe an Angelfish but don't know which one to add.
<Mmm... you could have all three of the more common species>
I already have the following fish that I'll be adding in this mix, can't get rid of them since they have been with me
for years. 6" Regal Tang, 3.5" Tomato Clown and 6" Australian Tusk<Hope they find good, happy homes>
Thanks for your expert advice again,
<Glad to share. BobF>
Re: Sohal tang as main focus fish -- 12/14/09

Dear Bob,
Thanks again for your quick response.
<Welcome Bill>
I meant to say that I don't want to get rid of these 3 fish below so is it still safe to include these 3 in my Hawaiian mix?
6" Regal Tang
6" Australian Tusk
3.5" Tomato Clown
<Should be in a system of this size and shape. I give you very good odds that all will get along fine>
Add these Hawaiian fish:
6" Crosshatch Trigger pair or Blue Chin Triggers
4" Yellow Clown - 3 of them
School of Vanderbilt Chromis - 15 to 20 of them
4" Kole Tang
3" Flame Angel
3" Fisher's Angel
300 gallon circular tank(42" diameter), 125 refugium w/DSB + 125lbs LR and 150 sump.
<Sounds spectacular. Please send along some photos if/when it's all up and going. Cheers, BobF>

Corals in Hawaii, coll.   9/21/09
Aloha WWM Crew!
<Howsit John?>
It has been some time since I have read your site...my 80G marine aquarium blew up during the 2006 earthquake on the big island,
<Oh, I remember... about a 6.0 in October... Got the shirt and all the broken dishes. No thanks! Have prop.s there>
and I have been out of the hobby until just recently.
My question is: What exactly are the laws regarding collecting frag corals here?
<Not to be done period>
I thought I read that if there was a frag which had broken off of the reef, and would most likely die in the reef rubble, it is ok to take. Is this true?
<Mmm, not as far as I'm aware. For the sake of some sort of discussion/argument, would ask what would stop folks from breaking pieces off, claiming they were "loose" when they found them?>
I have read the DLNR site, but cannot find anything that supports/discourages removing frags from the
reef rubble..(of course for personal aquarium use).
I believe some of you live here and am hoping you have some insight into this!
<Am bcc'ing Sara Peck of Sea Grant and friend, fellow pet-fish writer Dana Riddle (who lives off of Ali'i Dr.) and does coral research there... for their input. I am curious as well. A hu'i hou! (be seeing you for you
non-locals). Bob Fenner> 

Re: Corals in Hawaii -- 9/22/09
Aloha All,
The State Div. of Aquatic Resources Hawai'i Fishing Regulations says that taking stony coral is prohibited. Page 9 " Stony Coral: Unlawful to take, break, or damage with any implement, and stony coral from the waters of the State, Including any reef or mushroom coral. Unlawful to sell or offer for sale any stony coral?"
In the past I have been able to get a scientific collecting permit from the state to collect coral fragments along the shoreline that have live tissue. That is the only way I know of to collect fragments.
Sara Peck, UH Sea Grant College Program Coastal Resources Extension Agent.
<Thank you Sara. Bob Fenner>

Bird wrasse & Butterfly's? Hawaiian biotope fish sel.  11/20/2008 Hello, <Hi there> I am currently in the planning stages of 180 gal FOWLR. I am trying to create a Hawaiian biotype, on Bob's encouragement from his book and this site. These are the fish I am hoping to keep and would just like some input as to if these will all get along together and if they would actually really together in their natural habitat. I am planning the tank set up around these fish. 1 Green Bird Wrasse ( Gomphosus varius)-I absolutely love them!!! 2 or 3 Lemon Butterfly (Chaetodon Miliaris) would one alone be better? <Mmm, a small group is better in a large-enough setting> 1 Flame Angel (Centropyge Loricula) And possibly a tang although I have not decided on which one possibly a chevron tang. <Oooh, a good choice> Can you please give me your opinion on this list? I am concerned that the wrasse will be too busy for the butterflies and angel. <Mmm, I don't think you'll have a problem... I would either start with a small male or a female (which will turn into a male with time)> Any advice you can give me would be appreciated! Thank you for a great reference tool. I am on the site daily and appreciate all the help!!! Colleen Moy <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bird wrasse & Butterfly's? 11/21/08 Bob, <Colleen> Thank you for your input. When I am ready to add fish I will look for a small male or female bird wrasse. I am trying to be very cautious about my decisions so I that I will be able to enjoy this hobby for a long time. I am sure I will have more questions as I continue planning and set up. I appreciate your time and help. Have a great day!! Colleen Moy <Thank you my friend. BobF>

Thalassoma dupperey, sel., HI biotope  - 06/29/08 Hello WWM crew-- I am interested in setting up a Hawaii biotope. The tank will be either 180 g or 210 g. I am still working out a few of the setup details, including the stocking plan. I know how common the Thalassoma dupperey, or Saddle wrasse, is in Hawaii and would really like to have one of them in the tank. Are they available for sale anywhere? <Mmm, yes... may have to be "special ordered" by your LFS from their supplier/s, but are caught for the trade in Hawaii> I live in a small town and buy most of my livestock online, but haven't been able to find them anywhere. The display just wouldn't seem right without the Saddle wrasse. Could you possibly point me to a vendor that might have one? (Or let me down easy if they are not available in the aquarium trade...) Thanks for the help. Your site is a huge help to me. Tom <Try requesting specifically... from Dr.s Foster & Smith, MarineDepot.com... call and talk with them specifically re... they in turn can ask "the folks at 104th street" in LA (mainly Quality Marine, Sea Dwelling Creatures, Underwater World...) to ask in turn... Bob Fenner>

Not a question but a comment... Diving, pet-fishing connect... part. fat fishes in HI    2/9/08 Dear Mr. Fenner <Aloha Paul> I have learned a lot on your website and appreciate the wealth of information, as I now have a full blown SPS system everything is growing fantastically. I just got back from Hawaii (Oahu) and did a lot of SCUBA diving and wanted to make a comment. I always thought I wanted a huge tank for bigger fish but after seeing the tangs and triggers in and around Oahu I have some reservations. I have seen thousands of tanks and not once have I seen fish as fat, thick, and healthy as in this ocean. <Heeee! Was I swimming by?> All the Picasso triggers literally looked round like footballs and schools of tangs and triggers in sizes I have never seen in a tank especially nutrient poor SPS tanks. My tank has small fish the biggest topping out at about 3 inches and all are fat but Hawaii was ridiculous. <Dang that poi, poke and pulled pork sandwiches> Unicorn tangs that dwarfed any I have ever seen in a tank. Tangs with 5 and 6 inch streamers and Moorish Idols that were huge. Witches Brew in Hanauma Bay and what they refer to as the Pipe were just spectacular and I was told that the other islands were ten times better. <An exaggeration... maybe five times> I think I'll stick to the little guys and not be so hung up on coloration of corals, feed more and just do more water changes. I hope all is well as I heard that the Big Island got 4 times as much rain as Oahu, <Was pouring this eve> I hope you managed to stay dry and I can't wait to dive Kauai next year. By the way night dives are amazing a little intimidating at first but well worth it. We found a little restaurant called the Sid Street Inn and it was amazing, met a few famous chefs eating here as well probably a good sign. The island definitely has it's own pace and apparently jaywalking is not a good idea. Thanks Paul <What is that quote from Samuel Clemens/Twain (who visited HI BTW) re travel?: Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness... I do wish Geo. Bush Jr. would have travelled out of the country before running for public office. Bob Fenner>

Link to the Aquarium Bill... Hawaii pet-fish collection  1/28/08 Link to the bill is: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/bills/SB3225_.htm <Does not specify, or exclude "trop. industry" folks by license... Is it the intention of this Bill to limit all fishers? BobF> Aloha all, The Hawaii Legislature is considering to pass a bill that will limit aquarium fish collection in Hawaii to 20 fish per collector per person with a maximum of 5 yellow tangs per day. The bill also will put a no take cap on angels, butterflies, boxfish, puffers, eels and many other species. The passage of this bill will essentially shut down the tropical fish industry in Hawaii which will include the transhipped items from Christmas Island and Marshall Islands. Please forward this to everyone in the industry because if we don't stop this bill, next year, yellow tangs may wholesale at $100 each. Let's try this : Regarding Senate Bill 3225 SB3225 Everyone including all businesses, employees, divers, parents, kids, brothers and sisters, friends, and everyone involved in this industry - JAN. 28-29th FROM EARLY IN THE MORNING TO LATE AFTERNOON, CALL SEN. CLAYTON HEE'S OFFICE AT 808-586-7330 AND WHEN ASKED BY HIS OFFICE STAFF - LEAVE YOUR FULL NAME - ( FIRST AND LAST NAME ), AND PHONE NUMBER, AND VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO SB3225. IF WE CAN GET 500+ PHONE CALLS INTO HIS OFFICE, WE CAN SHOW THERE IS VERY STRONG OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL . IT'S POSSIBLE THAT HE MIGHT SHELVE THIS BILL. WE NEED TO TIE UP HIS PHONE WITH OUR CALLS. THEN TOMORROW NIGHT, FAX SENATOR HEE YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL ALSO. ( FAX NUMBER 808-586-7334 ) THIS WAY, WHEN HIS STAFF COMES IN ON TUESDAY MORNING, THERE WILL BE FAXES ALL OVER HIS OFFICE FLOOR. WE NEED TO OVERWHELM HIM WITH CALLS AND FAXES VOICING OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL. Re: Link to the Aquarium Bill 1/28/08 Looks that way :( Where is Bill Walsh's study? Last I saw him speak at a conference, he was bragging about how well the closures have helped the yellow tang populations. Eric <Mmm, I believe I've seen much of the raw data alleging this... and have had occasion to "chat" with folks who know little re concepts like Maximum and Optimum Sustainable Yields... fisheries ideas that often label populations at something in the twenty some percentile of maximum potential population densities... But, this is another matter here. That the State of HI, the DLNR is going to throw away some (nice round figure) of 100k to enforce this measure/limitation carte blanche (with no doubt more species, more restrictions to come) is alarming and defeatist. Is the trop. industry the root, or determinant of population vacillation of Zebrasoma flavescens? I don't think so. That private enterprise be further hindered by needless, reckless legislation is troubling... I DO support some catch limit for casual fishers, and the ongoing licensing restrictions (recording of catch data) and study of population dynamics for tropicals... but not this sort of knee-jerk bureaucratic governing. BobF.>

Re: Link to the Aquarium Bill 1/28/08 <Does not specify, or exclude "trop. industry" folks by license...> Is it the intention of this Bill to limit all fishers? BobF> This is a poorly written bill and as written most likely will not get  far. My suspicion is that the bill is so wide reaching that the real aim is to reach a compromise solution down the road. <Likely... a common approach/method...> Hawaii does not do the following, any or all of which would go a long > way towards regulating the ornamental fish collection industry in a meaningful and beneficial way: 1) There is no limit on the number of commercial permits issued. Hawaii needs to look into a permitting system similar to that used on the GBR in Australia. <Agreed> 2) There is no limit on the number of collectors that can be active at > any one time. <Mmm, other than "economic"... the ultimate regulator> 3) There are no catch limits. 4) Catch reporting is inaccurate. <This is unacceptable> 5) There is no inspection of collector or wholesale facilities to ensure they have at least the basic systems in place and have expertise in > collecting, handling and shipping fish. <... who would do this? Who would pay for it? Not the so-called MAC...> 6) Enforcement staff are few and far between, so even if this bill were to pass in its present state, there is not the infrastructure in place to enforce it. <Bingo> Are there "bad" collectors in Hawaii? Most definitely! However, the lack of ANY significant regulations and enforcement has meant that anyone with a net and a bucket can collect fish and sell them. Meanwhile, those collectors who are ethical and who do practice care when collecting and handling fish, and who have been operating in Hawaii for decades, are going to pay for the State's lack of action in this area. Other problem areas:  1) The no-take areas set aside on the Big Island only pertain to marine tropical collectors, anyone can still gill net, spearfish and line fish for anything they want and in whatever quantity they want in these "protected" areas. This is clearly a case of taking on the weakest offender because they can win. <I see/experience this "all the time"... as in almost daily... the resident fishers shooting, netting most any/everything in sight> 2) Underwater tour operators seem to be under the impression that people only come to see pretty little fish on the reefs, ignoring the fact that many people also want to see large fish like parrotfish, surgeonfish, jacks and groupers. 3) Night spearfishing on SCUBA is legal, and as a result has wiped out most inshore populations of large fish such as parrotfish and surgeonfish. <Yes... despicable> Many of the areas where fish collectors operate are not the same areas that dive tour operators go for the simple reason that areas that are good for diving i.e. high coral cover, are not good for collecting fish. However, given the lack of regulation on collecting permits, there are too many collectors out there who could care less and will rip apart corals to collect fish and who will collect ALL fish due to how they are compensated. We shall see how far this bill goes in its present state ... Aloha! Charles <Thanks Charlie. BobF, in Kona till 2/19>  Disclaimer: These are my opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of the Aquarium, the University of Hawaii or the State of Hawaii. Re: Monday's Political Meeting, ongoing HI, political moves to shut down marine aquarium coll.   2/10/08 I am thinking that some of the accusations being made are that there is rampant poaching going on. I don't believe that to be true, but even if so.... The industry or DLNR can create an awareness program to get the public involved to report boats in illegal zones. Just another reason to have the restricted zones off limits to all dive boats and collection boats as well....it will make policing much easier. The awareness will also carry over to make the zones more visible letting the public and collectors know that there are areas that are off limits. Basically it's an awareness campaign. Not sure how necessary it is, but it's definitely something that will help improve the situation. Just some thoughts..... Charles, will you be attending the meeting? Maybe you can share some of these ideas if you can give some positive input. I know your voice will mean a lot to the industry. Best regards, Eric> <Cohen of Sea Dwelling Creatures>  Eric, from what I understand, there are some large exporter(s) on the Big Island literally giving nets and buckets to anyone and saying "Here, go catch as many fish as you can and we will give you $200." You can imagine what sort of people are taking this offer of a cold hard cash > handout at the end of the day. This is what I hear, I have not seen it > for myself or heard it first hand. Maybe Bob F. can corroborate this? Aloha! Charles <Delbeek of Waikiki Aq.> <I have not heard any instance of this... but folks involved in such practices should be punished... summarily. A hu'i hou! BobF> I have never heard of that either, but I know that divers have been limited over the last few years....from what I hear anyway from our suppliers. Recently though, I have not had a problem getting fish and a few new suppliers have popped up. So when some older collectors are no longer collecting, some new ones have come into the picture...and are doing an excellent job too! Looking forward to tomorrow's news. Eric

Hi Bob From Walt, HI and the U.S. blame game, human nature, chatting    2/13/08 Hi Bob, I have just sent you a rather threatening post about a Bill that is trying top be passed in Hawaii. Since you are in Hawaii right now I thought you might be interested in putting in your much valued two cents. <Mmm, Eric Cohen, Charlie Delbeek and I have been chewing over this Senate Bill the last couple weeks... some archived on WWM if you'd like me to refer you> Unfortunately when I looked at your sent message I noticed that you can not open the first page of this post so you will need to go to R.C. to get to the top and see how this whole thing began. Do you know this idiot "Snorkel Bob" ? <Mmm, yes... unfortunately... for a very long time> He is a dive shop owner in Kona and has been trying to stop the collectors for years, when I was in his shop back in the late 90's I was there to buy some books and dive gear for my boys in Fiji and when he asked me what I wanted all this stuff he refused to sell it to me and basically kicked me out of his store. Happy reading, Walt <Thanks Walt... He's a "bit odd"... Much to relate re my old cat, Catfish (as you know, I'm Dogfish in the HHH)... and his old ad campaigns... He's gone way over the top in many ways... Am hoping a new outfit (Boss Frog) is giving him a go for the money. Cheers, BobF>

Simple servants gone wild! Page from R.C. From Walt   2/13/08 <Mmm, here we go again... Yes, what little data re such stocks is limited and inconclusive... Just what is the big picture here? What are the major sources of mortality? IS the pet-fish collecting to some extent... as is local fishers (Yes, mostly Hawaiians do collect, eat tropicals... and shoot them for 'sport'... kill them incidentally via fishing for other species (esp. cast nets)... But, what is the role of NH3/NH4OH coming out of areas (esp. Honokahou Harbour on our coast) and the leach of human waste... Are there changes in the reef make-up... e.g. the Porites compressa, that the young settle, live in for a while... other issues related to the warming of our planet? How about aerosols... from jet planes...? I know naught, but am indeed curious re. In the meanwhile, folks are clueless re the issues, measures of OSY, MSY... what population levels these imply... and as I talked with you Walt, over the years, the perception (dangerous) of visually-oriented species when they 'see' so many organisms removed... Bob Fenner>

Re: page from R.C. Bob, Good dialog and interesting points. Perhaps you could labor this a little farther on R.C. .... <Mmm, no... BBs are a waste of my time... the only thing I've posted in about five years was from your prompting this week> I am sure they would love to hear your views. <Ah, no... 'Be chary of giving advice. Wise men don't need it and fools won't heed it'> I think a lot of information gathered here will be presented as useful questions to the Senator as why this bill was presented in the first place and why no research has been done to support it. Your questions shoot to the heart of that matter. Walt <Reason will prevail... Wait, I take that back... the idiots voted in the dolt/murderer/hypocrite/thief Bush twice... BobF>

Where would you recommend? Visiting O'ahu    1/19/08 Hello Mr. Fenner, <Paul> My wife and I will be going to Hawaii, more specifically Oahu staying in Waikiki, Feb. 2nd till the 7th. Where would you recommend to scuba dive? or Snorkel, pregnant wife no scuba for her?. We have read about Hanauma Bay and will try it but it seems as if it might be crowded. Where would you recommend that is quieter? <I would stick to this coast. Do NOT go to the North shore, or near the coast of the east or west during the winter. VERY treacherous... inconsistent. Do NOT even turn your back on the shore near it...> How is the water around this time of year? <Occasionally very large, and unpredictable> I appreciate any advice and or tips you can give. It seems strange not having a tank question so let me go get a shark for my 30gl fill it with that pretty red Cyano and come up with some compatibility issues, I can also rewrite this email with phonetic spelling and without capitalization if it makes you feel more comfortable. Thank you for all your help. Paul PS - Where are the good places to eat? <Do look for the "Blue Book"... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/097172797X/ref=pd_cp_b_3?pf_rd_p=317711001&pf_rd_s=center41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0963942999&pf_rd_m=ATVPDK
r=153E3GE7903HV5RVHJTJ Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Where would you recommend  1/19/08 Sorry Mr. Fenner, <No worries Pablo> Please disregard my previous email as I have committed a cardinal WWM sin writing before reading. I should've realized this would've been asked a million times before I just read through. Sorry, Paul <No harm. B>

HI pet-fish, Potter's A RMF citation  12/27/07 Aloha Bob, <Brandon> I'm a grad student at University of Hawaii at Hilo working on a thesis project on Potter's angelfish. I cited a 2-part article that you wrote in a hobbyist magazine entitled "Aquarium Fishes of the Hawaiian Islands". Could you provide a full citation for your article, because I can't seem to find it anywhere!!! <Has not yet run in the petfish pulp 'zines... but will in a few months... FAMA I believe... I'd just cite the website... and did pen about mid 07... Will this/that work?> Mele Kalikimaka e Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! Brandon "Cody" Chapin Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center University of Hawaii at Hilo200 W. Kawili St. Hilo, HI 96720 <A hu'i hou~! Aloha, BobF, soon to back mauka of Kona... and hope for better weather than last month there!>

Re: Reference Check... 12/27/07 Bob, <Cody> Not quite sure what you mean... so these are from FAMA? (I attached a PDF copy of the two title pages from both articles). <Oh... I thought you were referring to an upcoming article on Centropyge potteri... that you can find here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm Sorry for the confusion. That article has yet to, but will run in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine some months hence... in 08. This one shown in your pdf was a series that ran in FAMA... but can't quickly find in my analog files... IS part of a self-published 1999 work folks can find here: http://www.amazon.com/Fishwatchers-Guide-Saltwater-Aquarium-Fishes/dp/096726300X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198802706&sr=8-5> I'm not sure which website you are referring to... maybe http://www.fishchannel.com/saltwater-aquariums/reefkeeping/topiclist.aspx? <WetWebMedia.com is the only place this should be posted... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hifwgv1.htm> I looked through the FAMA articles there but did not find these. I'm sure I've had these articles since about 2005. I only have a photocopy of the articles... none of them show the magazine title or issue. <Weren't from 05... but I don't see them readily in my files period... Arghhhh> Citation: Fenner, Robert, (YEAR?). The Aquarium Fishes of the Hawaiian Islands (Parts 1 & 2). Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) (Months?) ... I just need to fill in the blanks. <Oh! I'd cite the Fishwatcher's Guide book...> Glad to hear you're headed back to Hawaii. Weather on the Hilo side has been dark and rainy for almost a month now. Drove over to Kona for some sunshine on Christmas Day only to see about 20 minutes of sunshine followed by rain, thunder, and lightning!!! It was worth a shot, I guess. I'd like to keep in touch and talk story about the aquarium industry if possible. <Please do give me a call... 1/15-2/19... 808 331 0889, and maybe we can meet up... Some friends coming/going will likely want to haul at least to Kilauea... or if you have biz on the West side we can meet up and chat! BobF> Take care, Cody Chapin
Re: Reference Check... 12/27/07
Bob, Decided to cite your Potter's angel article instead since it contained the same information. Mahalo!!!! I'll keep in touch. Aloha, -Cody <Real good. Be seeing you, BobF>

Dr. Randall's new book on Hawaiian Marine Fishes...   - 5/18/07 Bob: <Dr. R> No, I have not heard of an albino R. rectangulus  Or for that matter of any Balistid. <Me neither...> Did you receive the discount order form I sent for my new Hawaiian fish book? <No... please do... in fact, if you would, and if it's available, will you send along a notice of what the new title is, how it may be ordered? And I'll post it on our site.>   I will send a form to Linda Brennan. Aloha, Jack <Thank you my friend. A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner>
Re: Dr. Randall's new book on Hawaiian Marine Fishes...   - 5/18/07
Bob: Here's the 30% professional discount form.  There is information on the form how to order it from the publisher (Sea Grant College Program of UH). Aloha, Jack <Very nice! My Natural World Press paperback by you is more than slightly worn! Congratulations on this fine work... Will be ordering. BobF, who is giving a pitch two months hence to a dive club on Kona, of course will plug this work... and show Fremblii BFs>
Re: Dr. Randall's new book on Hawaiian Marine Fishes...   - 5/18/07
Bob <Jack> Thanks.  I think you will be pleased with the book. I apologize for the high price.  It was originally $150. I could only manage to get the price lowered to $125 and provide the 30% professional discount. Aloha, Jack <Agreed with the present state of affairs with book costs... Thank goodness that some of your work/s are available at lower price points... Am concerned that many earnest readers may miss such due to high cost. I sent in my order... with the $&15 dollar postage fee! Cheers, BobF>

LR Question, HI... curing, making...    4/12/07 I live in Hawaii and we are planning for a future big tank. In the mean time we picked up a 12g Nano tank to practice water conditions. I put in 7lbs of cured Molokai LR. We might put in some cleaner shrimp, snails, and maybe one fish. To get ready for our big tank I want to store just LR in our open garage for a few months or longer. I also want to convert dead rock to live so I was thinking of using 20 gallon containers. <Can be done> Would a 200gph powerhead be enough flow? <Yes... better by far with a sponge intake screen... to sponsor some mechanical filtration> Do I need to have some sort of filtration system? <This is a very good idea, yes> Can I put the cover on so debris doesn't go in? Should I put sand in there also so I can just swap it to the new tank? <I would do this in separate tanks/containers... easier to keep/clean> Do I need lights for this long a period? <Some folks say no... but at least some ambient light is recommended... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrcurefaqs.htm and the linked files above... BTW, am wondering what the current law/s are re collecting "coral skeletons" in HI (how much material in a given day... how high above the high tide mark...). Please do relate to us your experiences here... as am very interested myself. A hui hou! Bob Fenner, mauka of Kailua-Kona>

Subject: The Big Island... Notes to Bob and Jeff Hey Rene! Thank you for taking the time to chat this AM... For your kin's upcoming visit: Do make sure to pick up a cooler either at the King's Shops or Costco, Kmart, Wal-Mart... these are great places on the Big Island... for packing sodas et al. during your stay... going to, from the hotel... Though is a haul over the rough hallways there at the Hilton in Waikoloa... Maybe two coolers. While you're there, do call on Gerald Heslinga (if he'll see you... he's more than a bit of a recluse) at Indo-Pacific Sea Farms... and Carol and Craig at OceanRider (they're listed in the local phone books)... down at NELHA (just south of the airport/Keyhole... Make sure and get in a "pizza night" down at Kona Brewing Company... in town (Kailua Old Industrial)... And the usual pitches for nice beaches... Hapuna (public) and Mauna Kea's (private, go early to get a parking placard... it's free otherwise)... Up for adventure? Got to make a run down to Kilauea Volcano Park... a day or so at Hilo's waterfalls et al... (do bring some lightweight rain gear if you have it... and flashlights if you're going to stay till dark to see the lava... And Waipio... a haul but real fun... And Parker Ranch has many attractions for young folks... Do look in "101 Things to do on the Big Island"... a circular at the Airport... esp. for the coupons for discounts, two-fors... And don't be shy re asking the locals what they do, where they eat et al... there are many great things to experience there... I will be out (at "A" Bay just south of where you're staying) for the Lavaman tri, but leaving unfortunately a day ahead of your arrival... Do send along your cell numbers (I don't have one...) and I'll call you if I extend. Our house number there is 808 331 0889. Cheers, Bob Fenner

Hawaii Wedding  3/30/07 Bob, <Scott> So...this isn't a fish question at all.  I'm getting married in Hawaii in a month or so and I'm trying to plan where to go.  My fiancé? and I have spent hours and hours browsing different sights, and talking to a travel agent.  We just want to make sure that we end up someplace we like with great snorkeling, and it's hard to judge the book by its cover so to speak <Ah, yes... and congratulations> So you're the only person I know that knows Hawaii, and from what I've read it sounds like you know it pretty well J.  We'd like someplace cute, quiet, <Not O'ahu> cliff over the beach <Kauai> for the wedding itself (just our parents and siblings there).  For the honeymoon we just want to be somewhere nice, with lots to do, <Kona> and amazing snorkeling or diving is key. <Kona...>   Our travel agent has recommended Kauai, East Beach for our stay. <Many nice places, beaches there> Any suggestions?  I appreciate the input! <A tough one, but I would go with your agent's advice here... The Big Island you can do for your return/anniversary... There is plenty to do on Kauai... the Napali coast... the diving's not as good, extensive... but is fine for a first time over. Bob Fenner, out on the Big Island currently> Scott Johnson Critter Cabana 

Fish I.D. (A. semipunctatus) 3/17/07 Hi, <Hello.> Thank you for all your information, you all provide a wonderful site. <We love to hear that! You are welcome.> My son caught this fish in a tide pool in Hawaii.   <This is a hint...> I saw the blue spots <Another hint...> and thought it was a baby peacock grouper (Roi).   But now that it is in our aquarium it looks too cheeky, and I've never seen the filament like front fin <Dorsal.> on a Roi. It is about two inches long, and without the flash appears quite black.    <Tell me what you think of this: http://www.hawaiisfishes.com/fishes/neatfish/asterropteryx_semipunctatus.htm (Known as the "blue-spotted" or "half-spot" goby, Asterropteryx semipunctatus) Thanks, Amy <You're welcome, Amy. (By the way, in the future, please attach any pictures instead of inserting them. Thanks, and this is a great pic, too! -GrahamT>
Re: Fish I.D. (A. semipunctatus) update 3/19/07 <Hi Amy.> That is it!   <Excellent!> Thanks so much, and you are so fast to respond!   <...Blows his smoking keyboard off.> I'm glad to find that it'll be staying small.   <Yup.> It is already adjusted and eating, within a day of capture....Should be fun to watch.   <I think you'll find that animals lucky enough to skip the whole industry of fish-knapping and air-travel and box-travel, etc. will be much healthier in the long run.> Seems very predatory.   Also, thanks for the link to Hawaii fishes. <Glad I could help! (I love doing Fish ID)

Daily Desktop Photo   1/24/07 Hello Bob, Here is a picture of a Longnose Butterflyfish taken in Lagoon 1B at Ko Olina on leeward O'ahu. <Ahh!> I swam with many different types of fish species at Ko Olina... Achilles Tangs, Moorish Idols, many Triggers and Wrasse, etc... I even followed a Porcupine fish for some time that measured about 2 1/2 feet long... also swam right next to a sea turtle. Lobe, Finger, and Cauliflower corals were also spotted several places...although the fish were more abundant then the coral. My second time on O'ahu...even better than the first.  I hope to visit the Kona coast for trip #3. Mahalo. Eric <Oh, am out here now... We have a few properties on the West coast of the Big Island... Do stay in touch and perhaps we can get together back out here. I haul out every few months to pull weeds, visit friends, do a bit of speculating... and we may put up a public aquarium at NELHA. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawaii Fish   1/20/07 Thank you Mr. Fenner for your time. <Just Bob please> You're right, we know the local exporters that you recommend, Island Marine, Coral fish, etc. <Ahh, some fine folks... I do hope/trust Randy Fernley/Furry Slippers is still in "the life"> We also do business with a few of the 104th street guys, a number of larger pet stores and some international.  Our main concern though, it to broaden our customer base as much as possible so that we don't overburden any specific region with too many rare fish thus forcing them to lower their prices. <A good idea>   We do not want to flood the market with deepwater fish as that would counterproductive.   <Agreed> In the near future we plan on doing deepwater collecting expeditions to the South Pacific and possibly Japan. <Did you catch any of the reports of Forrest Young's group (Dynasty) doing mixed gas collecting off of Manado... in Bunaken... Shades of Richard Pyle's early efforts!> If we come across anything extra cool I'll be sure to e-mail you a picture. <Ahh! Thank you. This will serve to keep potential buyers at all levels interested... and aware of your presence>   I've attached a picture of what we think is a Crosshatch/Bluethroat Hybrid.  I don't think it is a crosshatch female undergoing a sex change to a male as those usually look different.  Please let me know what you think. Aloha, Rufus Kimura www.kaiohi.com <Interesting indeed... Have you shown this to Dr. Randall (at the Bishop Museum?)... I have many fond memories of Xanthichthys (mostly mento) in and about the Islas Revillagigedos decades back, collecting in Mexican waters when this was allowed. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

How do I do this? Moving livestock from HI to the mainland   1/17/06 <Hi Macthew!  Mich here... currently in Hawaii too!> Hello there, I was wondering if any one could help me.   <Yep!> I followed your suggestions on growing my own live rock here in Hawaii and everything has worked out better then I could have hoped.   <Good to hear!> My question is that I am getting forced out of the Navy and getting send back to Washington state and was trying to find out the best way of getting my eel back home.   <There is a way.> There is a lot of stuff in my tank that I will be giving to a friend but my eel I have grown very attached to and really don't want to part with him.   <Understandable.> Any help would be great. <RMF encourages you to deal with Randy Fernley of Coral Fish Hawai'i in O'ahu... he moves the boxes around for many outbound shipments... He should be able to assist you with this process.> Coral Fish Hawaii 98-810 Moanalua Road Aiea  HI  96701 Randy Fernley 808-488-8801  ph 808-487-1167  fx coralfish@verizon.net Good luck to you!  -Mich> Macthew C Dewitt

Re: Nanos, anemones, visiting HI  11/12/06 Thanks for all your help, Bob. I really appreciate it. I'm going to work on a design that would have say a 12 gallon display and a 20 gallon refugium hidden in the stand. Hopefully I can come up with a workable nano-anemone display. <Mmm, these are challenging at this volume... but can be done> We're planning a HI trip for January. Debating between Wailea and Kona. <Really like Kona (am there now), but Wailea is also fabulous> Any specific suggestions regarding diving companies/instructors? <Yes... In Kailua, Big Island Divers, Jack's Diving Locker... and Dive Makai... though there are many other excellent services in the industry here> Never been to Kona. Have any lodging suggestions? -Mike <Mmm, if you have to pay... the (Kona) Seaside is a fave... inexpensive (for the area), right on the main drag (Palani and Ali'i Dr.) and have kitchenettes... which can save you a bundle on meals. A hu'i ho! Bob Fenner>

I have the answer for those wanting a FOWLR system in Hawaii  - 10/25/06 To the crew and the intelligent people that support this site, some info people may be interested in. I have seen many questions on the site concerning Hawaii State laws.  I have been laboring over the same predicament for months almost years.  I have the answer, it takes a long time but with patience you can LEGALLY have a FOWLR (live rock being the key) in the state of Hawaii.  The laws are very strict in Hawaii, the State has good intentions but unfortunately are a bit misguided in my opinion (I even wrote my thesis on the current laws concerning the harvesting of coral for profit).  Many "amateur" reef aquarists are better read and knowledgeable on the propagation of SPS and LPS than in my opinion than those working for the State.  Yes, that may sound a bit harsh, but true.   Anyway, enough of that, It is easy to go out and collect rock and corals and throw them in your tank in Hawaii, that is true, but illegal, and if you are like me. I still obey the law.  There (without a scientific permit and appropriate facility) is NO legal way of obtaining corals of any kind (save some "black, pink, and gold corals" with the appropriate permit).  Obtaining permits in the State for other than profit is next to impossible, yes a little hypocritical, but that's the way it is.  Now, here is how you do it. THIS WILL TAKE AN IMMENSE AMOUNT OF WORK, TIME, and PATIENCE.. It is legal to collect rock above the high tide water line, without ANY (not even algae) form of life.  A rock with algae could be a $1000 fine for the first offense.  Now you can see why this will take a while.  So, Collect your rock near the shore, but above the sand (waterline) most abundant on the Northwest side of the island of Oahu (sorry only know about Oahu, other localities/counties may enforce even more strict regulations).  For water use the public access at Sand Island (at the end of Sand Island Access Rd.) has been tested with almost all Salifert kits, and is an incredible source for free! A little high on the salinity side (around 1.029, but that's better than low I guess).  We are allowed, yes legally, to collect one gallon per day of sand and coral rubble seaward of the coastline.  This is how you will get your live sand (go to Bellows AFB or Lanikai beach). Normally sand collected on the beach isn't a good idea, but it's a little different here than Atlantic City.  Get out there a bit, and it hasn't been touched.  Collect sand first, then when your DSB is establish collect coral rubble, this is the only way to get the coralline to seed your rock. Be sure to collect the sand in the water, yes this is a lot of work, so the sand will seed the rock.  Six months later you WILL have beautiful live rock, and you did it completely legal, then discard the rubble is desired.  I have verified this exact plan through the DLNR and the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture, and I have done it!  In fact you may print my email if there are any questions concerning legal resources. Nodea717@yahoo.com Now, if you really want to push your luck, if I remember correctly Zoanthids aren't actually Corals right? Anyway, I am sure you see where I am going with this, you can capture your own inverts as well as fish.  Now go net your fish (as long as the net and arm together do not exceed three feet) and have a gorgeous, completely local FOWLR tank.  P.S. have your local fish store import anything off of the Conditionally accepted list or Restricted B list and have them sell it to you, they already have the permits (stonies and leathers are on the list but they still wont do it!) Cheers! Don Williams <Thanks much for this cogent detailed input Don. Will post/share. Bob Fenner>

WWM... we need you & Snorkeling Questions for the Big Island   6/19/06 Bob: Hope all is well. Though I still am working a lot, I try to answer about 1 or more questions a day.  Unlike Reefcentral where anyone can chime in, I feel more hesitant to give advice on WWM because I know only one person will be answering the question.  Thus, if it is me, I feel I have to take the extra time to do a really good job of thoroughly answering the questions because we only get one shot at it and I don't want to give the Crew a bad reputation. <Don't think you will Roy... haven't done so as yet!> On another note, yesterday, I found out that I have an opportunity to join other members of my family for a trip to Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort about 20 miles North of the Kona airport between June 28th and July 5th. <! Have been there many times... Do take a few walks over to the adjacent Hilton property... to walk the aisles... Many beautiful pieces of art to view, landscaping to purview... boat and tram to ride! Oh, and you can't help but visit "King's Shops" near the Waikoloa hotel complex... with many nice retail settings, restaurants... including a fabulous one named... Roy's!> Right now, my wife and I are trying to see if we can squeeze this trip in with our work schedules.  If it works out, I was wondering if you could tell me about the snorkeling near by. <There is a nice lagoon at the Hilton that is worth going to "get used" to the experience as well as a very safe "A" Bay immediate to the South. I strongly encourage your buying, reading, "The Big Island Revealed" book... for this information, and much much more. Can be had ahead of your trip (I would)... Do also pick up a copy of "101 Things To Do on the Big Island"... an ad circular (free at the Keahole Airport) as this also is a brilliant source of things to do... Lastly, do check out the Net re current goings on... You will likely want to go to Kailua-Kona town at least once (see the Kona Brewery...), as well as points north... Hawi, Hamakua, Waipio Valley... maybe even the big drive around to Hilo, Kilauea... though... this is precious little time... and relaxing is very important...> Since my Boys are still small (7 and 5), I don't think I'll be able to realistically take the time to get certified until they are old enough to do it with me.  Thus, we are all still at the snorkeling stage. <And the beach period. Do try to get them into the Mauna Lea public parking to go to the sandy beach (not many there)... and the Puako Petroglyph Beds...> In December, we all went snorkeling in Akumal and Cozumel and had a good time.  My Boys are comfortable in the water.  Are there reefs near the hotel that we can access from the shore; or, should we plan on going out on a boat. <Both A Bay and the Hilton Waikoloa property have "some" coral cover... and are very safe for young people...> Warm regards, Roy <Wish I was going to be out there with... to show you about. Am hauling out a bit later (7/21... to visit and do the Volcano Run. Cheers, BobF>

A good move? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwestern_Hawaiian_Islands_National_Monument   6/16/06 Hi Bob, Do you believe that this will have an effect on the ornamental fish industry, either positive or negative? Johnny. <One can only hope that with more "visibility" re the world, that attention will go with this... There are no ornamental organisms currently collected out of this vast area... But, adding "just more civil servants" doesn't attract me at all. BTW, the usual "no sale" to the Bush hoopla here... many people did the ground work, pushed for this legislation years ahead of this dolt. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawaii fish exporter    4/14/06 Thank you very much. We will try to contact them and we look forward for your help again in the future. Best wishes, Myra Ohara <Welcome my friend. Hope to see you about. Bob Fenner>

Re: BGA Photo, Sea Dwelling Creatures, life  - 04/08/06 Bob, <Eric> Great email again as usual.  I would love to hear more about the  Energy Labs project....sounds cool and right up my alley. <Agreed... exciting to ponder... and do> Mmmmm...Hawaii in June?  Sounds interesting, although we were on the  big island over the summer and said we would go to Maui next year.  You  never know though. <Sounds like what my mom used to say when we'd ask for ice cream> Thanks for the support on the reefcheck logo....I will get you the info...the link is _www.reefcheck.org_ ( http://www.reefcheck.org) <Ah, good. Will place/displace with the moving/deleting of the WMC logo/link> Let's discuss all this stuff......let me know what's happening in  Kona. <Will do... the place is booming... HI has the lowest unemployment (benefits) rate in the U.S.... esp. on the Big Island, folks are desperate for workers... much going on there, including (finally) some efforts at relieving traffic congestion on the west side. BobF> Best regards Eric Cleaning Coral Skeletons, 4/6/06 Aloha WWM crew. Great site you have here.  I actually have two questions I am hoping you can answer for me.  Question number one:  Can I use the bleach cleaning process on colorful dead coral skeletons without affecting the natural color?  The second question:  I live in Hawaii and here it is illegal to import live coral.  Unfortunately (but understandably), it is also illegal to take any live corals out of the ocean.  Do you guys happen to know of any other way to obtain coral legally for a hobbyist that wants to learn more about it?  Thanks very much, and again GREAT site! -Mark <Aloha Mark, Ryan with you today.  I would use a 1/10 Bleach, 9/10 water solution with a brush of sorts on the coral skeletons.  That should do the trick without too much color loss or damage.  As far as the coral situation, I'd give Indo-Pacific Sea Farms a try.  They have an excellent stock of aquacultured soft corals, but I'm not sure if you can purchase without shipping.  Not sure which island they're on, but they're in Hawaii!  Thank you for the kind words, Ryan> <<Are on the Big Island... call Gerald Heslinga re... RMF>>

HI bound... not with cnidarians - 03/12/2006 Bob, <Yo!> I am the brother Eric was talking about.  I was just wondering if you could give me some more details of what I can and can not have sent to Hawaii. Could I have my brother send me frags of my favorite corals.. Blue Tort, Pink Milli Chips Acro so on and so forth??  Can he legally send it and can I legally keep it in my tank. <As far as I'm aware, no cnidarians can enter the state... again, I would check with the DNR here... and not break the law> I truly understand the reasons for restricting the import of non indigenous species.  I dove on Oahu in Sept on seen a bunch of the green star fish (sorry for the vague name) that supposedly got import from Australia. <Really? Acanthaster plancii? I thought they were native> I really want to reset up my tank up but will not do anything illegal.  I want to make sure of the law as I have had so many people tell me so many different things.  Any advice you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks!! Ed <The Dept of Natural Resources is your best source. Bob Fenner>

HI exports, interesting translations 11/3/05 Hello: me gustaria to contact a business of Hawaii (Island Marine Exports ) <<"Hello, I would like (know how) to contact a business in/of Hawaii, Island Marine Exports.">> <Mmm, you might try:  Email: hitropfish@hawaii.rr.com   Island Marine Export Ltd.  Tel: +1 808 328-1898  Fax: +1 808 326-2528.  Ocean Fish of Hawaii  Tel: +1 808 929-8294> or to another business that export fish since that pies.  <<"Or another fish exporter/business to export fish of the same type and species.">> do not I find this data in it paginates.  pardon by speaking badly the groins. Many thanks <<"I cannot find the data as it paginates.  Pardon me for speaking through my.. ar**?" Not so translatable.  Marina>> <I would also search through OFI: http://www.ofish.org/mainpage-banner.asp?aid=9580&gid=4790  

Question Regarding Hawaii and Sand 11/3/05 I plan on collecting some live sand from Oahu for my tank, in accordance with Hawaii law of course (1 gallon per person per day). Thankfully, most of the sand here is of the right composition, with lots of calcium, <Yes... am sure you've been to the Waikiki aquarium down at Kapiolani... seen the "saltwater wells" they've used for decades... very good water with little work> but I am not sure where to find sand fine enough to establish a good, nitrogen-cycling deep sand bed. <Is most everywhere> I thought I would try Bob on this, since he has some familiarity with Hawaii. I went to Lanikai last weekend, and the beach sand is fantastic, however the live sand in the tidal zone is much more coarse. Any suggestions?  <I would use this over the fine/r...> Also, after using your website for several weeks, I finally bought your book yesterday. It will be a great reference to keep around. Thanks. Doug Cook <A hu'i ho! Bob Fenner> 

Diving in Hawaii 10/25/05 Hi, I have used your question system many times and have always been rewarded. I have yet another question for you. I'm not sure if this is really an appropriate question, since it has nothing to do with keeping a fish tank, but I am taking a trip to Hawaii this June. I was wondering if you or anyone else can tell me which island you would recommend as being the best for diving.  Hope you can help, and thanks a lot, Joe Marano <Sure can proffer an opinion (or three) here. Am out on, and own property on, the Big Island (Hawai'i proper), as. due to its size, there is a large Kona/calm, leeward side... more calm, clear water... Though the other Hawaiian islands have different mixes/preponderances of life, the Big Island is my choice if you only have one... Lots of good dive operators here... I mainly use Big Island Divers (Hi to Norm and crew). Bob Fenner> 

You're in Hawaii and you didn't invite me. 10/11/05 Hello Bob: You're in Hawaii and you didn't invite me. <Jeff... do please come out whenever you can... Dana Riddle is on this island and Doug Robbins, friend of Terry Siegel, and Carol and Craig of Ocean Rider... Gerald Heslinga of IPSF (though he never shows up for parties), Bill Stockley of Stockley's aquarium... many other good friends on islands nearby... You are welcome any time> I'll forgive you this once. Thanks for your input regarding Polynemus paradiseus. Your time in Hawaii. Aloha, <A hu'i ho! my friend. BobF> Jeff  

CNN.com - Growing concern for Hawaii's aquarium fish trade - Oct 10, 2005 Bob & Crew, Thought you would be interested in this and pass it on to the rest of the board!   http://www.emailthis.clickability.com/et/emailThis?clickMap=viewThis&etMailToID=1295947024&pt=Y   <Thanks much for this. Randy Fernley/Coral Fish Hawaii is a friend... amazing... more money is spent most minutes murdering other people's citizens... BobF>

Live Rock - can I bring mine to Hawaii? Okay, here is my dilemma, I am moving to Maui near the end of the year, I have 3 established tanks with live rock - can I ship my rock to myself from California to Maui? <I don't know... but my guess would be "not legally"... You can/could check with the DLNR there re: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/Welcome.html.  I suspect there is a fear of "something" getting loose...> I have been trying to figure out legalities of "importing," as I have already cleared the way for my other pets. If I cannot, I guess I have to find a new home for my rock -- which I hate to do.  Do you have any info or suggestions of how to answer this question? <Only to contact the State itself> Thanks! Brenda Carroll <Bob Fenner> 

Re: Live Rock - can I bring mine to Hawaii? Dear Bob Fenner, Thanks for the lead! By the third phone call, I got the answer - no. Well, at least now, I can plan to sell my rock, coral, and fish (or apply to import the fish!) -- I will just have to start over.  <Thank you for this report... Hawai'i is a mighty fine place... we own properties and visit there often... but their laws against live rock and Cnidarian import, transport through the place are... misplaced IMO> Thanks for the site - you folks are FABULOUS! Brenda Carroll <Welcome. Bob Fenner, whose sister is also named Brenda>

Re: Live Rock - can I bring mine to Hawaii? Hey Bob, whose sister's name is also Brenda, <Yes> I agree with you, that Hawai'i has some mighty strict laws, but I won't complain (much). I called around, found out I can get a permit to harvest my own rock and fish - <An adventure indeed!> but I just am not the "hunter" type. I can swim with the fish, buy supplies for the ones who live with me, but taking them from their homes - I'm a hypocrite, but no "kidnapper." I did find one store in Kihei (the first store I called), and they sell rock, so I should be all right. <Great... and have been diving off of there many times... Tis fabulous> Thanks again for writing me back. Brenda Carroll <Mahalo! Thank you for sharing. Aloha. Bob Fenner>

Stocking a Biotope Tank Hello again, <Hi there! Scott F. with the follow up today!> I suppose I should have given the scientific name for the lion I was looking at. It's the Pterois radiata, but I suppose that will also outgrow a 75 gallon. <Yep - this is too large a fish to sustain in that sized tank for anything approaching its natural life span> My LFS said those fish would be fine in there, but I think they might just be trying to get a sale. Another option I was looking into was a biotope for Hawaii or Fiji. What fish would you recommend for either?  Thanks! <Wow! That's a tall order to fill. Tons of options! I'm partial to Hawai'i, myself, so I'd work on a biotope of fishes from the Islands. I'd be inclined to choose small, colorful and interesting fishes, such as wrasses and gobies. Look at the Pseudocheilinus species, such as P. octotaenia or P. tetrataenia (the Eightline and Fourline Wrasse, respectively). You could also try some cool gobies and blennies. I like the Firefish, Nemateleotris magnifica, a great little fish. Although rare in Hawai'i, they are present in these waters. If your tank is large enough, you could even consider a smaller Butterflyfish, like the Longnose, Forcipiger flavissimus. Other candidates from both of the regions that you are contemplating are very well covered here on the WWM site. Do some searches and you'll find tons of good info! Good luck!  Regards, Scott F.>

Save a Pristine Coral Reef Ecosystem I just used World Wildlife Fund's free Conservation Action Network to push for creation of a strong marine sanctuary to protect one of the last large, intact marine ecosystems in the world. I urge you to take action, too. <Okay> Known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, this ecosystem stretches across more than 1,200 nautical miles northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands, and is a remarkable and remote string of islands, reefs, and atolls. It encompasses up to 70 percent of the coral reefs under United States control, as well as endangered Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles, huge schools of large fish, and myriad bird species. <Yes> Although largely untouched, this coral reef ecosystem has suffered from some unsustainable use. Lobster fisheries took more animals than the ecosystem could produce, and the fisheries were closed by court order after the number of lobsters plummeted. Other fisheries caused the accidental deaths of sea turtles and were also closed within 50 nautical miles of the islands. <And the U.S. military's use, mis-use> To learn more and take action, go to http://takeaction.worldwildlife.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=20041&ref=3761736 . Thanks! <Thank you for this. These are some amazing places. Bob Fenner> Mahalo for Dinner Aloha Bob, I'm sorry, I didn't have your email post dinner ,  finally found it on the web.  Many mahalos for your hospitality, lovely evening.   Next it is my turn to have you and your wife over for a meal from the Natural Energy Lab bounty. All the Best, Sara Peck, UHSGES, West Hawaii <Sounds great! Am hauling out for most of October... so maybe we can all get together a few times! Will call you then/thereabouts. Aloha, Bob Fenner>

HI in October Dear Bob, <Hey Marty!>      I called yesterday morning and at mid-dial it dawned on me that you might have already taken off for Hawaii - which obviously was the case!  Anyway, I had a nice chat with Dianna re our pending visit over your way. <Yep am here... and it is fabulous>      Since we last talked I've done some checking and come to the realization that we'd end up broke by the end of our visit - if we  stayed at one of the nicer hotels - and also that for the most part, they are quite a distance from your place.  Even the Hilton starts at $330 a night! <Yeah... sometimes you can get a deal... and there are some quite nice places (my fave, the Seaside, across from the King Kam...) near/in downtown... close to all> Big Bob (Holly) does have a place they use that might be reasonable (at least for a few days), but they always go on a package, so I'll have to check.  Without going on - it appears that the sane/reasonable thing to do is take you up on your offer and work things out once we figure out who is coming/going/when/where and how!  I'll get a hold of you (Dianna gave me your Hawaii number) and figure things out further. <Ahh, great. I do think this will work out fine... Angela can likely get more sun than she wants going back and forth... there is a Jacuzzi here, but no pool... and we'll all have a great time sharing each others company.>      Hope your doing some shell scouting in the meantime!  Talk to you shortly. Regards,     Marty <Indeed we are! Wish you were here... you will be soon. Bob F> Marty Beals Tideline

Diving, traveling friends Dear Bob and Diane... <Hi Bjorn!> We are at the moment in Bali, to do some diving. We just been out diving to day at Tulamben, When I should log my dive I found you visit card, I thought I lost it. So better late than never. We want to thank you for a really good week last year at Sipidan. It was really great to meet such a nice couple. Every time we go diving, and see some small fishes we think of you. We are on 1 month vacation in Bali, and perhaps next summer we go Hawaii, who knows ? <Do come out to Hawaii. We have a very nice house on the Big Island and will show you around, go diving together.> Once again we are really glad to meet you take care... Pia og bjorn  Denmark. <Have a great time in Bali. Good to hear from you. Bob Fenner>

Hawaii and L.A. visit Hi Bob, <Howard>      This is not an urgent question and doesn't have to appear in the forum...... <Mmm, others might find the info., interchange of use> At the end of July we are planning a trip to Hawaii and would like to know if there are any interesting aquariums/wholesalers/ retailers that we should plan on visiting.  We will be in Oahu and the Big Island and also have some time in Los Angeles.  Aside from the snorkeling and Public Aquarium, is there anything that we shouldn't miss out on visiting?  Thanks for all yours and the crews' efforts and education. <All sorts! On O'ahu do make it over to the Waikiki Aquarium (check and bring your "other" Aquarium pass if you have them... as they co-op with others for free entry)... the book/gift shop is actually worth the visit!) at Kapiolani park... and save some time to visit the park... the plantings and zoo are worthwhile... as well as a good few hours to hike up and around Diamond Head (you can walk but it's a good one from Kapiolani)... don't forget your cameras! There are a few retailers worth visiting, and definitely go see Randy Fernley at Coral Fish Hawai'i... and if the weather/waves permit it... do the big loop about "the meeting place" island and check out Shark Bay, Hanauma Bay (yes, though beaten up by too much visitation, it's still fabulous), Kaneohe (though silty, it still has much to offer... and while you're at the last, check and see if the folks will let you into the labs the U. of HI has there... On the Big Island, do check into NELHA (just south of Keahole Airport, before Kailua... though folks like IPSF and OceanRider don't have facilities for visitors, there are other interesting things to see, experience there. And in Kailua, do stop by and visit Bill Stockley (Stockley's Aquarium), the only LFS on the island... Do get a copy of "Big Island Revealed" (from Costco, Borders there...) and pore through it, make a visit, dive itinerary... there are MANY places that are worthwhile (almost all on the lee or Kona coast/side) to snorkel, hike... In L.A.... you might try just "walking in" to some of the larger wholesalers... mainly clustered about LAX... 104th street is especially rich with some co.s in our trade. There are SEVERAL items to experience in all three of these areas... even just focusing on food-visits would take some time (hee hee!)... While on the Big Island, do check out (esp. if you drink beer) the Big Island Brewery (in downtown Kailua-Kona), in LA, Tommy's (apologies to all who don't like Chili Cheeseburgers) should not be missed... Bob Fenner>                                                         Howard Cushnir                                                         Jacksonville, Florida

Diving... Hey Bob... Almost forgot to ask you... As you know, I am now deeply (no pun intended!) into the whole world of diving! <Yes!> Next week, I'll be making my first dives with Nitrox. I am curious if you find that Nitrox is a good idea? My instructors seem to think it's THE way to dive...Do you actually use, it yourself? Is it worth getting the certification? <Good questions... I am NOT a big fan of Nitrox... for the nominal benefits I do not consider it "worth it"... but do know of many other folks who swear by the technology... I would like to skip ahead and plug rebreathers instead... but am content myself to dive with compressed atmosphere> Yep- I'm fairly obsessed about this new-found hobby (great- ANOTHER obsession!)- even to the point of getting a dry suit to deal with the cold water off Catalina...I intend to get a bunch of dives in before hitting HI later this summer (assuming you'll be there!)...looking forward to diving in a "real" habitat! <Thank you for reminding me as well Scott... of plans to return to our place on the Big Island for the month of July. I do hope you and Nadine can come out, and that we can dive together> Other questions on diving HI- Are you using a spring suit, or a full? <Either... I would just dive with a long-sleeve rash guard here most months, but the thieves took that as well this last go. I have a new 3 mil short sleeve Spring suit for most days (easy shore-entry and boat dives) and a fuller 3/5 mil. for rough shore-entries... to avoid the lava!> How deep do you usually go? <Generally not more than 125 feet or so... not much to see beyond. I have gone briefly to two hundred plus on compressed atmosphere, almost four hundred on tri-mix...> DO you generally go out on dive boats, or go off beaches? <About half and half. Am good friends with some of the fine people who are Big Island Divers here... and the island is blessed with many other fine dive services... but/and there are many shore entry sites that are very fine on most days... and I have two single eighties with hundred fills here> I'm trying to work on the skills I'll need to be a good all-around diver, but I want to really concentrate on those that I will use in places like HI... <Ahhh! Am looking more the forward to sharing with you here> Any feedback would be appreciated! Scotter <Perhaps you'd be interested in coauthoring a dive/photo guide to HI with me? Have been cogitating re for some time now. You no doubt have seen Randall, Hoover, Allison Kay, Jerry Crow... et al.s diving and natural history tomes re the islands... tis time for a newer, updated diver-oriented work in my estimation. Let us indeed chat this over... for your upcoming further delving, development into underwater photography/videography. Bob F>

Hawaiian Fish Exporters <Perry, Dave, I chatted with the three principal collecting companies owner/operators on the Big Island and two of the three sounded like they might like to do business with you.  Do contact Jeff at Island Marine Exports 808-329-1898 or Steve/Mr. Fish at 808-334-0123 and maybe the folks at Yankee Divers 808-329-3125 Of these folks I know Steve the best to be honest and have consistently good quality... he has a very nice self-made holding system, catches and processes his own livestock. Hope this helps. Bob Fenner>

Fish and Diving (A Navarchus and HI) Hi Guys! <Hello Lesley> Hope you are all keeping well.  Got a couple of quick questions on fish and another one related to diving so here goes:- <Okay> We bought a 4" Majestic Angel  <A good size to start with> last week (unfortunately, without reading your info first). He'd been at the LFS for a couple of months, feeding well etc. He did eat during the first couple of days but after that he discovered he could hide in the reef so now we hardly see him and if he sees us first, he's off, faster than a speeding bullet!  I am worried that because of this hiding, he is not getting enough, if any, food at feeding times, however we do have a few corals which I am sure he nibbles on when no-one is around. Do you think we should be worrying? And will he become more gregarious as he gets settled in? <Is this a large system? Hundreds of gallons? With lots of hiding spaces, rock...? I hope so> Secondly we have a fairy wrasse (not sure what sort, pinky purple and orangey in colour - very technical!).  This fish was incredibly shy at first too but now is always out and about and feeds from our hands. We want to get a Scott's wrasse. We have a 100g tank - as they are completely different colours, will they be less likely to fight, if they fight at all? <There is a possibility that if these are two similar size, markings males... that they might. Is this the same tank the Majestic is in? It's too small... I encourage you to return the Angel> Finally, we are going over to Hawaii (Big Island) in May (hurrah! Can't wait!) Staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. <A beautiful hotel... We have a place on the Big Island (just mauka, or up hill from Kailua (the principal town, on the lee/Kona side of the island), and have had a few friends visit the last weeks that I've taken to stroll through the Waikoloa Hilton... great grounds and artwork... the "Dolphin experience"... and neat swimming pools with slides!> My husband is a certified diver and just wondered where the best dive sites are in and around Kona and what animals he is likely to see.  Also, are the reefs around Hawaii really as bad as we have heard? <Bad? As in...? Some are easier, harder to explore, access... for shore entries? There are MANY possibilities> Fish are his first love and he's hoping to see some turtles and manta rays. <Many good places, mainly depending on the weather/waves... it's been terrible the last few weeks, with very high surf coming in to the west... but will likely improve. Do cruise up to Puako (north of the Hilton), perhaps through Mauna Lani (the resort... and take in the Puako Petroglyphs as well... many Green Sea Turtles on the large area for shore entries there... And a good distance to the south is "Two-Step" that you can visit along with Honaunau, the City of Refuge... your concierge or rental car company can give you good directions to this and other attractions off the 11... There is Kuhaluu or White Sands Beach along Alii Drive as well (near the 5 mile marker)... Ali <I is the "main drag" in Kailua Town... There are many more spots depending on weather, your degree of comfort/ability... The Mantas here are fantastic to see, but you need to go on a specialized scuba boat dive to experience them first hand. Check with any of the excellent dive services re. My fave is "Big Island Divers"... ask Norm there most any question re local diving> He's dived in the Maldives, Mauritius, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and Grenada. <He'll enjoy it here then... usually 100-150 foot visibility, temp. of water mid to upper 70's this time of year... and a good quarter of the animals only found here... MUCH to see, enjoy> We're going to Bonaire in December - any particular dive sites you would recommend there?  We're hoping to do the Red Sea and Great Barrier Reef next year - pennies permitting! <All excellent places. I strongly suggest you do what I do... read cursorily over the Net, the usual "travel guides" and specialty print works on diving, natural history of the areas> Anyway, thanks for all your help and advice as always. Lesley <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner in Holualoa> Hawaii Hey Bob this is Cody May.  <Hi Cody!> Our family will be going to Hawaii in February. My parents want to stay on Maui since we have some relatives going over at the same time and that's what island they will be on. I was wondering if you knew a good hotel to stay at.  <I/we always search on the Net and bargain hunt there... most of the inexpensive places are to the northeastern shore... Kihei and Lahaina are ritzy... do try to make a "all in one" package deal with airfare, the car/s, and hotel all priced by an agent... You don't have to meet the agent as in a travel expert in your town... the Net is fine here... use whatever search engines you have with the terms "Hawai'i" or "Maui", "travel", "package deal", "discount"...> There are 4 kids so it would have to be somewhere with something for the younger ones to do.  <There's lots for folks who like to get outside... the beaches, hiking to the Needle, Haleakala Crater... bike-riding down and around... some towns to roam about> Also do you know of a good place to get airline tickets, my mom has been a bit slow and hasn't booked them yet. Are you still going to be over there during that time? <Yikes, do this sooner rather than later... the further out you can plan, buy, the cheaper generally things are. Right now Aloha Airlines has some super deals... from mainly the west coast. Have your mom check their site. Bob Fenner at the house on the Big Island... Steve Allen is visiting.> Thanks a million, Cody

Hawaiian reference material. Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 01:10:17 +0000 Hi Bob, Hi Diana, <Hey John!> And a very Merry, belated Xmas to you both from John, Marty, and The Abbey!! I understand that you are preparing for a rapidly-approaching attack on the fishes and mollusks of Hawaii & have need for some type of reference matter on the shells there. Really not that much in print, but we have dug up a couple of items that might help. The large red book by Allison Kay is the only "Bible", so to speak, that has been published & was out in 1979, probably out of print these days. <Must be... the name doesn't bring up any shell books on Amazon.com!~> Anyway, it is quite detailed and comprehensive & is an extra copy that we happen to have, so there you are!! I will send this down to you first thing tomorrow morning and hope that it helps you out with all those wonderful shells that you are going to find. <Will gladly pay you for the copy... maybe in shells! Or what you like next I see you> Basically the same drill as Nuka Hiva, and you will quickly figure out the habitats of encountered mollusks as the trip progresses. Ferret out the good ones of course. Look out in the sand in deeper water for Goodwin's Harp Shell & that one will pay for your trip and put money in the bank to boot. <Will do John> If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me & I'm here at Tideline all this week, in and out for deliveries, but not out of town on any overnighters. My very best regards, John P. <Thank you my friend. Happy New Year. Bob Fenner>

Overstocking a reef system you are more than welcome. we have exchanged mails before mostly through the WWM site. You may, or most probably not recall me asking for some advice on a Hawaiian reef set-up. <Mmm, no, not right off> For the past 4 yrs I have had a small 40g reef system with minimal corals (Sinularia, Euphyllia glabrescens and pulse xenia), which has been my basis for learning the hobby. The fish I have kept are 4 green Chromis (once 5 but a mishap with an overflow...another lesson learnt) are these found in Hawaii?? <No... there are a few other Damsels (you can search those found there on fishbase.org under the region, then resorting the fishes by family)... but these are rarely imported... maybe the irascible Dascyllus albisella... needs real room... a mean fish, much like the Domino> if not could you suggest a reef safe shoaling fish. 4 convict gobies now 5" and made their full colour changes (I am not sure whether these would fit in my planned species set-up) I have also read that these can become aggressive with age, and my oldest salt water buddy Rooney my 2" maroon clown whom I've had for nearly 3 yrs. <Can and likely will> I have recently purchased a chevron tang and a Hawaiian 4 lined wrasse, neither came cheap I can assure you but worth every penny. They are both in quarantine waiting to be introduced to my new eco-system run reef.  <In this 40? I hope in another, perhaps larger system> Other than the Chevy and 4 lined wrasse I intend to add a flame angel and if possible to find 1 a flame wrasse. are there any other livestock fish or other wise that you would add to this system?? I do plan to add a bubble-tip and pair up my maroon clown before introducing them to the aquarium, the maroon clown would be the only fish I would not be prepared to sacrifice for the Hawaiian reef system. <Is this still the forty gallon system? I would not place more fish livestock in this volume... too small. Bob Fenner>

Hawaiian Stingrays Or "Do You Google"? Hey guys, WHEA student here again. I have a paper due on Hawaiian Sting Rays and I haven't been able to find ANY websites other than yours, do you know of any? (Love your website, I refer to it for EVERYTHING!) - Jillian >> http://www.csulb.edu/web/labs/sharklab/students/current/dan/flash/project_sting.html http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/default.htm http://www.fishbase.org http://www.google.com/search?q=hawaiian+stingrays&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&start=50&sa=N Marina

Treating new fish 6/18/03 Hello Anthony, <cheers, mate> I thought about Formalin, but was worried about its effects on the filter (which is biological)? <valid... but not so severe as many other meds (like copper, Methylene blue, erythromycin, etc)> I will consider a formalin dip, the MelaFix was added because i had some and i thought it would be fine with the shark. <agreed... I do believe it is safe for the shark... and safe for the parasites too <G>> how lo would you say to lower the salinity by (if the shark was removed)? <1.018> I am completely struck on transshipped marines and i am due a list from Hawaii. Can you suggest any thing from there that is really good or worth having? <many fine wrasses, a few dwarf angels... beautiful triggers and Tobies (dwarf puffers)...> in my mind i am thinking flame angels, potters angel, Lemonpeel angels, yellow Sailfin tangs, chevron tangs - common but sought after! <the tangs yes... very much. Great fishes and hardy. The Potters... no way. They are so delicate that many don't even make it to the US mainland. Not a strong fish under any circumstance... lets leave those beauties in the sea. Lemonpeels and Flames can be quite hardy once established though. Very fine.> Regards, Sam <best regards, Anthony>

HI House   Hi Bob,   How are you? <Fine>   Question.......when will the house you bought in Maui be ready for renting? <Oh! The house is actually on the Big Island... on the dry (Kona) side, mauka (uphill) from the principal town of Kailua>   The reason why I am asking is because the manager of my El Paso office, his wife and another couple will be going to Hawaii in June.  I told him about it and he might be interested in renting it.  Let me know and I hope to see you soon. <Thank you for this Liz. Here's a link to the pix on the Net: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/holualoaproperty.htm Will ask Pete, Di re how ready the house will be... and hope to see you and Tom over there. We're not quite sure re how we're going to "demise" the property... it's big, and easily divided into upstairs/down... But we do want to rent part of it, or all of it part time... and we're over there in May, getting the utilities turned on, buying furniture... Maybe we'll devise a website to aid in renting, informing folks interested. Be chatting, Bob>   Seymore/Liz Claus

Aloha Dogfish, <Jules>             How are you?   I am Julie, the daughter of Ron (Dipseyshit) and Susan.   They told me about meeting you at Two Step and that you were interested in the purchase of a property. <Yes. Thank you for contacting me/us.>    As they told you, I am in real estate and would love to assist you in your search for a home here.   Sometimes you really need to jump on something fast because they go into contract in just a few days.   I can keep you up to date on what is new in the market and start the search right away. <Mmm, we are in escrow on a Holualoa property with Dawn Ladera (Clark Realty), but are looking to buy, build on other properties in the not-too-distant future. I will send your note to Impy (Peter) for follow-up>   I know that you had the fragrant farms under contract.   What made you decide that it wasn't what you want? <Really just a matter of "bad luck"/misfortune... we were out of the country on a trip and there was a need to agree on something... so the folks took a back-up offer.>    It is good to know what you don't like so that I do not waste your time.  I know that sometimes you can find what you want right away and sometimes it takes a few times to find the property that you really want.    <Agreed. Will rely on Impster to fill you in>             They also told me that you are a diver.   I also would like to meet you, as I too love to scuba dive. Do you dive often around here? <A couple trips a year usually>   What spots do you like to go to? I like Two Step and The End of the Road for shore dives.   And I really love to go crawling through lava tubes and caves where they are available. <There and Honokahou, Puako, a few other shore entry spots and we use a few of the dive svc.s in town... very nice> I went to your web site and checked it out.  I really liked your photo of the day.   It reminded me of the Red Sea.                Please contact me and let me know what you are looking for.   Maybe we could meet and we then could discuss houses and what you want.   I look forward to doing business with you in the future. <Okay> Mahalo, Julie Rahmer, R(S) <Bob (Dogfish) Fenner>

When In The Islands...Take Nothing But Photos! Hi, <Hello... Scott F. with you today> I have just returned from a trip in Hawaii, and I brought with me 2 medium-sized pieces of lava rock that I found in the ocean waters of Hawaii, I was wondering if it is safe to put into my 55 gallon aquarium? <Yikes! You did what? Just so you know- It is not advisable to remove rocks, sand, etc. from Hawaiian waters. There  are a variety of restrictions concerning the removal of natural materials.  And, with this being lava rock, there are also local superstitions that go along with the removal of these rocks from the Hawaiian Islands.  I know two rocks might seem to be minimal- but just think- with millions of tourists visiting the Islands each year, if each one took just a couple of rocks, think of the impact on our natural resources...> What effects might it have on my fish, eel, and invertebrates? <Well...It's hard to say...Rocks from natural sources may be perfectly safe, or they may continually leach undesirable substances into the water. Best to let wild-collected rock "cure" in a separate aquarium or container with filtration and/or Polyfilter for a few weeks before using...> Also is it similar to the lava rocks sold in the aquarium stores? Thanks in advance. <Without seeing them, it would be hard to say...I'd still advise a "curing" period before their use. Good luck! Scott F.>

Hawaii Vacation: Woo Hoo! Aloha David <Greetings!> Thanks for the fast reply.   <You're welcome!> The Outrigger Hotels are right on the beach and have pretty good rates.  I'm not sure what you mean by inexpensive, but for about $150.00 the Sheraton Waikiki is great place to stay.  If you are looking for something that is not in Waikiki, I would recommend the Marriott at Ihilani.  It is in a resort called Ko Olina on the west side of the island.  It has a world class spa and is located on a private lagoon.  I've stayed there before and it was one of the best hotels I've stayed at for the price.  Try looking in package rates through travel agencies like Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays.  My friend got a $400.00 package that included air and hotel for a week.  The hotel was not very nice, but if you are on a budget its perfect. <Thanks so much for this! You've have been a great help in planning this trip> Let me know if you have any more questions. <Okay!> Thanks for all you help, <The pleasure is all mine...David Dowless> Jeff

Snorkeling O'ahu, Li Dat! Which sites on Oahu and Maui do you recommend for snorkeling and photography in  February? Thanks, Stephen Pace <On O'ahu, there is the ever-popular Hanauma Bay, located on the East Side. Turtle Bay, on the way to the North Shore, also has some good snorkeling. On Maui, you can check out Molokini (lots of tours go there, as well as several other spots in the Kaanapali area. Do check the local "welcome" magazines that are available at hotels, shops, and airports throughout the islands. Have a great trip! Regards, Scott F.>

Aquariums In Da Islands Which Aquariums in Oahu and/or Maui do you recommend visiting in forthcoming trip there in February. Thanks, Stephen Pace >Have already copied your other articles re fish collecting and viewing there with relish! <Definitely, you want to check out the Waikiki Aquarium, which is one of the oldest (and I think best) aquariums in the nation. They have some magnificent exhibits, and the personnel make this a world-class facility. On Maui, do check out the Maui Ocean Center. Do an internet search for these facilities, and I think you'll find some good information that will get you even more stoked about your visit! Regards, Scott F.>

Rhinecanthus rectangulus  I am trying to setup a Maui biotope in a FOWLR system. I would like a Humu Humu as the centerpiece fish but cannot seem to get a consensus on whether or not it would kill the snails I'm using as a cleanup crew.  <It will likely do so over time> I can't create the look I'm after without live rock and I happen to believe it is an important requirement for healthy fish like a dwarf angel which I would also like to include.  <Agreed. I would use live rock for sure... I did some drawings in anticipation of building out a public aquarium in Kona once... all had a rock motif> But I'm not sure how to maintain nice looking LR without some snails to clean it.  <No worries... there are other scavenger choices... and in actual practice, not much to worry about re problems here> If you could share some advice about this I would be very appreciative. If the rectangulus will not work, could you suggest an alternative fish, appropriate for this biotope, that has a similar character or personality, if there is such a thing. <Mmm, if you're set on this showpiece I would go with it, and build the rest of the collection/biotope around it. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Bret Packard

Chromis agilus Dear Bob: I have downloaded some of your wonderful pics you took in Hawai'i of the genus Chromis, and have been really trying to find a place to get 3 of the Chromis agilus for my 60 gallon reef tank. They would be the "stars" as the 3 other fish are 1 clownfish, 1 pygmy angel and 1 royal Gramma. I have tried all public sources and they are unwilling or unable to order these fish for me. Is there someone in Hawai'i you know who might ship to me, or someone here in California or elsewhere who has a contact. <Mmm, yes... have your shop, supplier contact Quality Marine or Underwater World in Los Angeles... they have regular HI shipments (weekly) and good rapport with collectors, may be willing to have their collectors send you some... though few of the Damsel species are collected from the 50th State (not enough pay to merit it... and the common techniques of capture and holding impose high mortalities on these fishes... or you might try Randy Fernley of Coral Fish Hawai'i... who has a nice retail shop on O'ahu and is a great collector...> I will be there over Xmas for my second wonderful visit, but don't think it possible to walk into a pet shop there and carry them on the plane.  <You could if someone had them.> I do look forward to snorkeling though and have your note to someone else who is going there soon. I am still painting and my next ptg is that calendar fish from last week, who thanks to you, is named Lorenzo. <Great!> My best - great diving, great pics. Connie Cavan <Many more to come my friend. Contact us when you're closer to Southern Calif. Bob Fenner>

Question About Buying Hawaiian Fish Robert May I just start by saying I love your book (Conscientious Marine Aquarist). I used to keep a salt tank back mid-90's but then went back to freshwater African Cichlids. Recently I decided to start up a reef again and your book is one I am using as I guide. My goal is to make my tank as "Hawaiian" as possible - I am having trouble finding specific inverts for the area. <No coral or liverock collection in Hawaii.> The other thing I notice is unless the species is actually endemic its hard to find out which ones are actually from there. They are all listed as Indo-Pacific. <I have found most Hawaiian fish listed as Hawaiian and usually cost a bit more.> This leads me to my question - 2 fish that I am planning on: Zebrasoma flavescens and Centropyge loriculus While both do live in the Hawaiian Islands - they both are also from other places. What I was wondering is how do you know when your at a store/purchasing from the web etc that you are actually getting one captured from there and not from somewhere else? <Hawaiian Yellow Tangs are a deeper yellow color, easy to distinguish when you have seen them both. Same thing goes for the Flame Angel, nicer color, more expensive, when Hawaiian.> I know this is difficult to answer - I guess what worried me most is that I asked one dealer about obtaining fish from the Philippines and cyanide - his response to me was "What I have found out is in this industry they will tell you what you want to hear." <An odd response. My limited experience has shown when it is from someplace special, Hawaii, Christmas Island, etc., it is listed.> That didn't make me feel too confident about making sure that I purchased the right specimens from the right areas. <Maybe try another dealer. Look over the pitch Robert wrote on Hawaiian fishes.> Maybe you can shed some light on this dilemma for me. Thanks for your time. Trying to do the right thing, Brett <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Trying to make marine systems a go in Hawai'i... Hi Bob, Wow what a great site! So much knowledge and in a language us newbies can understand.  <Thank you my friend> I believe this along with your book...what accomplishment. <Much good help with both projects> I have a 55 gal salt FOWLR tank. I wish to start a refugium/sump and I have a few dilemmas. I'm thinking of 10 or 20 gal hopefully the later I will just have to set it out side my tank some how maybe a smaller stand. I live in Hawaii and with all the laws and regulations it's very hard to have the right elements to make this a success. <This I know. Too many restrictions IMO> My "live rock of course was dead when I put it in, but now has coralline and other sorts of organisms growing on it. I would like any suggestions you might have to help me out with this dilemma. I have a 20 gal that I wanted to use for that purpose, but it is sitting empty right now until I find more information. thank you for all your help Dela Yazzie <I would contact the DNR and the Waikiki Aquarium for the "latest" on laws in the 50th State. There are reportedly some folks "making" cultured live rock there... and possibly there are some legal avenues for utilizing a source of substrate that can/will colonize the carbonaceous materials in your system. Please return and grace us with your findings, news of your successes. Bob Fenner>

Hawaiian species dear Mr. Fenner, I am currently in the process of starting up a 450l reef tank, using Berlin methods of filtration and an in sump refugium. my intended fish stock will be a pair of flame angels (as the center piece) and a flame wrasse, both species from Hawaii. <Very nice... Flame Angels are not easily acquired that have actually been collected in Hawai'i. You may well want to have a female in with your male Cirrhilabrus jordani... to help retain its health, color> I currently have a Kole tang in the tank and two cleaner shrimp, a few hermits and 25 turbo snails, I also intend on adding 2-3 yellow tangs and maybe a lipstick tang at a later date. <A Naso lituratus for browsers... also indigenous to HI> what I am writing to ask is, are there any Hawaiian fish species you would recommend for a reef tank ?? i.e. gobies, blennies, damsels and possibly Anthias', and what order would you stock the inhabitants for compatibilities purposes....... <Many. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hifwgv1.htm for an annotated piece on pet-fishes of Hawai'i (a section shortened from a recent book by me)> I do apologies for the long letter, but I'm afraid you only have yourself to blame for getting me into this hobby in the first place. LOL :-) <I see> also while I'm here chewing your ears off, are there any corals/inverts that are endemic species from Hawaii??? <Many... along with the Sea of Cortez in the Eastern Pacific and the Red Sea, this are has one of the highest degrees of endemism of nearshore, shallow water marine species...> that you could also recommend. <Unfortunately, the trade in these organisms is not well-developed or outright banned> my current coral stock is a torch coral (Euphyllia glabrescens), pulsing xenia and a small Tridacna clam. thanks for all the time and effort you put into a most informative web site, I'm sure it is much appreciated across the globe. Brent Keenan (UK) <Thank you my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Where did that fish go?!? Hello, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob is away> I purchased a dragon wrasse for an all Hawaii system today and think something terrible happened. I don't know where he is and have one small lionfish and one snowflake eel that may be the culprits. I have read that they like to bury. <absolutely do not give up yet... I have seen this species bury in the sand/ disappear on arrival and not show face for as much as two weeks!> This was a juvenile specimen and I may get a: lunar wrasse <aggressive and grows too large>  Coris <many are delicate or passive>  or another yet bigger dragon wrasse <perhaps... but wait a little more>. It would be wonderful to get your opinion. Other tankmates include Chevron tang <magnificent fish!!!> 3 blue damsels, baby Picasso (with no back tail) and the previously mentioned eel and lion fish. <until you train your lion to feed on frozen food, but sure to enrich (Selcon soak/inject) or gut load prey Thanks for any advice you may give, Jake <Good luck, bud...let us know when <wink> your wrasse appears. Anthony>

Oops! Here he is! I LOVE YOU GUYS, <Jake...we love you too...in a manly "Go Steelers" sort of way. Anthony> My wrasse (the Hawaii tank) appeared this morning and he is fine. <excellent... you could have bet money on it. Those little devils love to get your blood pressure up. Hold on to that fish and grow it up well...they are magnificent as adults. Be sure to treat him regularly with feeder ghost/grass shrimp when it is old enough> Thanks, paranoid Jake. <you are welcome. catholic Anthony>

Hawaii set up Hello, I would like to thank you for helping people and fish. <A pleasure> Also I would like to ask you about a Hawaiian set up. It is in a 55 gallon and must center around a Huma Huma. I am thinking some damsels, a Chevron, and some kind of wrasse. I understand that eventually the trigger and the Chevron may outgrow this tank. I would also like to say that I work in an aquarium shop on the weekends to support my habit and I recommended your sight and book to our customers. Thanks for any advice, Jake from D.C. <Please take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hifwgv1.htm You will find a list of the Wrasses found in Hawai'i and my ranking of their suitability for aquarium use, links to other sites, FAQs files. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Hawai'i Dear Bob, Your lead article in this month's FAMA covering (thoroughly covering) the Hawaiian aquarium fishes is among the best that mag. has published lately. It is reference material for sure. Thank you. <Thank you for this mention... I really enjoy putting these sorts of "what's there of interest, with images" pieces together... Glad to know you find them of use> Having just returned from a dive trip along the Kona coast I wish we could keep the charming red pipe fishes or the green trumpet fishes. By the way, I didn't know Hawaii had its own special lobster - with claws rivaling those of the cold water species. A print out of your Fish Watcher's Guide was very helpful. We found the northern coast much clearer and alive than the more populated area near Kona. Manta rays at night are awesome. <Spectacular... a "must" for all dive-visitors> Once again, my "automated" system was fine after having no care or attention whatsoever for 18 days! Now if we could find something to eat calcareous algae off the glass? <Mmm... Bob Fenner> Howard

Re: New tank setting it up (I thought I'd put in my $.02 here Bob and/or JasonC, sorry if I'm butting in). <Not at all. All input welcome> Concerning the LR/LS situation in Hawai'i. I would think that plankton collection would be a legal option. <Mmm, no... actually think you have to "have a permit" there...> One of the local colleges might have someone willing to go out and collect plankton for you, or you can order plankton nets from online scientific supply houses (for example, http://www.carolina.com/ ) if you can't find a local dealer. I'm not sure if this is entirely safe (pathogenic (sp?) organisms could be introduced this way), but it would be one method of introducing benthic organisms into your tank. I would also check with Gerald Heslinga at Indo-Pacific Sea Farms. URL: http://www.ipsf.com email: indopac@aol.com I'm not sure they can help, but it can't hurt to ask. They're located in HI and can't ship. According to the website, they don't do gate sales, but who knows, maybe they know someone who could help you out. Best of luck, Mike, aka PF <Will post to WWM... don't retain folks e-mail addresses. Bob Fenner>

From: "FunHawaii.com"  Dear Prospective NEW Air Pass subscriber: The air pass will become available for purchase within the next few days. Below is a copy of air pass terms and conditions. The price is $1699. There will be two chances for FunHawaii.com clients on the waiting list to obtain the air pass: FIRST ROUND: On Wednesday, October 24 NO EARLIER than 10 AM Pacific Time you will e-mail your notice of continued interest to AirPass@FunHawaii.com A very limited number of passes will be assigned on that date. Assignment will be based on first come first serve e-mail starting with 10 AM PST. NOT EARLIER Your e-mail needs to include your complete name as it appears on the drivers license, your home/work phone (s) and a line that says: I still want x number of passes. You will be notified on Thursday, end of day, if you were one of those selected in the first round. SECOND ROUND: Those who were not notified by e-mail on Thursday will be able to call in on October 30th for the second round where a much larger pool of new air passes will be issued. On Thursday you will receive a phone number which will begin taking calls at 6 AM in the morning of October 30th. Again, this will be first come first serve basis. You will be able to purchase the air pass on that date. Last year air passes sold out in 4 hours on the call in date. This year we expect a much shorter sellout window. Terms & Conditions-- General Conditions: The Pleasant AirPass (hereinafter "PASS") is valid for unlimited travel on Pleasant Holidays' scheduled service program with American Trans Air (hereinafter "ATA"), from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Honolulu and Maui, or from Honolulu and Maui to Los Angeles and San Francisco (Pleasant Holidays reserves the right to substitute air carrier at no additional charge to member).-- - --- The cost of the PASS is $1699.00 per person, including departure taxes, Passenger Facility Charges, and segment taxes. Full payment is required within 7 days of the initial request for the PASS. If paying by check, the check must be made payable to "Pleasant Holidays, ILLC."-- - --- PASS customer's (hereinafter called "Member") name must appear on the PASS air travel card exactly as it is on a valid drivers license or other photo ID. The PASS card must be signed by Member prior to travel. The PASS air travel card is non-transferable, and if any use of the PASS is made or attempted to be made by anyone other than the Member, the PASS will be confiscated and cancelled. If a PASS air travel card is lost or stolen, a $50 fee will be charged to reissue the card. PASS is good for inclusive travel from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2002. Certain black-out periods will apply.-- - --- Reservations: Reservations for travel must be made no sooner than 60 days prior to departure. One-way travel is allowed. The available number of PASS seats per flight is limited. Some flights may be sold out prior to 60 days before departure and will not be available for booking. The PASS air travel card entitles Member to standby on ATA. Normal check in procedures apply. Photo ID will be required at check in.-- - --- Blackout Dates: The following dates are NOT available for travel by PASS members:-- - --- TO HAWAII FROM HAWAII-- 01/01 - 01/06/02 New Years-- 02/14- 02/19/02 02/18-02/23/02 President's Day-- 03/21-03/31/02 03/28-04/07/02 Easter/Spr Breaks-- 05/21 -05/25/02 05/25 - 05/30/02 Memorial Day-- 06/15 - 06/22/02 06/20 -06/27/02 Graduations-- 11/21 - 11/28/02 11/29 -12/05/02 Thanksgiving-- 12/17 - 12/30/02 12/26 - 12/30/02 Christmas/New Years-- - --- If ATA air space becomes available during these dates, Member will be permitted to utilize standby status. ATA seats are limited on weekend flights and during the summer months of June, July and August.-- Tickets: Tickets for travel will be mailed 25 days prior to departure. Late bookings may require ticket pickup at the airport.-- Changes: After commencement of travel, changes to return transportation may be made only through Pleasant's Honolulu office, at a charge of $50 per passenger.-- Cancellations: Member agrees to advise Pleasant Holidays' Reservations Department of cancellation of all bookings as early as possible prior to departure date.-- Missed Flights/No-Shows: If Member has not cancelled and misses the confirmed flight, it will be counted as a "no-show." After three no-shows, Member loses advance booking privileges. Member will continue to be eligible for ATA flights on a standby basis.-- Multiple Reservations: Multiple, same travel day reservations are not permitted and will be counted as no-shows if not cancelled.-- Sales To Minors: Sale of the Pass to minors (persons under 18 years of age) is not permitted. Signatories to the Terms & Conditions must be 18 years or older. If one or more of the Passes are for the benefit of minors, a parent or guardian must sign on their behalf.-- Refunds: Full refunds on the entire cost of PASS are allowed within 14 days of the date cards are mailed, provided customer requests the refund in writing and returns the unused air travel card. Once the Member has traveled with the PASS, or 15 days after card is mailed, the total cost becomes nonrefundable.-- - --- This notification is not an offer or a contract and is issued for convenience of FunHawaii clients only. The full contract will be posted on THURSDAY at www.FunHawaii.com/airpassterms.html. You will be able to print it out and send in in after your AirPass application has been approved. <Who's got interest? Four trips to HI in a year... and it's likely worthwhile. Bob>

Kona Dear Bob, My 150 gallons of joy is doing well with no problems. An exciting and interesting year, indeed! Thanks again. <You're welcome> After years of diving in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico, the half price air fares and hotel rooms on the Big Island of Hawaii will be our November trip - two weeks at Kona. Looking forward to seeing relatives of my tangs in their home waters! <This is the best of the principal Hawaiian Islands to dive on> I know this was your habitat for a long time. Any suggestions? Specific dive sites? What not to miss? <Many places on the leeward side... City of Refuge, Two Steps... on over to Captain Cooks if you don't mind paddling or taking a boat ride from Kailua... towards the south end of Alii drive in town there are a few nice snorkel beaches... Puako is not to be missed, nor visiting the hotels/art at Waikoloa... Parker Ranch and environs, Kilaeua Volcanic Park... Hilo on a big drive around, Rainbow Falls... Black Sand Beach at South Point... There's a great practical "Around the Big Island" tourist book you should buy in Hawai'i if you can't find it ahead of time (same folks have made one for Maui and Kaui...) very worthwhile. Please take a look at the Fishwatcher's Guide installment here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hifwgv1.htm for more. Bon voyage. Bob Fenner> Howard

Any Ideas? Bob, How are you my friend. Things are going well with myself and my tank. <Ah, good to read> Got a few questions for ya. I won a trip to Maui during the middle of March for seven days. I figured you have travel here and might have a few ideas on what a struggling reef aquarist might see or do. <You lucky pug! Many interesting things to see, do there... are you a snorkeler? A whole coast to swim off of... A scuba diver? You must go out to Molokini (a compressed cinder cone) at least a couple of times... There is a very nice public aquarium, the world's largest volcanic crater (Haleakala) some fabulous hiking... and a CostCo to buy provisions, good fresh fish to buy from the markets... great Japanese beers at a good price...> Let me when you are coming to Baltimore. I think I owe you a few brown bottles on all the help you have provided! <Ahhhhh, will be there in May... 17-20th! The pitch will be listed on the PMAS website, am sure... see you there. Bob Fenner, if not in Maui> Bob Wrigley

A little out of the ordinary Hi Bob. I wanted to thank you for all of your help in the past. I have a question that is a little different this time. My wife and I are planning a trip to Hawaii and we were wondering which island has the best snorkeling. We are interested in the type of snorkeling where you paddle around at the water's surface in shallow reefs. Hope everything is well. Bruce G. <Kind of depends on the weather... but by and large, if you haven't been before, and only have time to "do" one, go to the Big Island, Kona... larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined it has a much larger "shadow" on its leeward side, therefore more protected from waves, currents... And MANY interesting places to visit in the water and out. Puako, Three Step, Captain Cooks... and on the land... the twin mountains Mauna Loa and Mauna kea... the town of Hilo, the Volcanic park of Kilauea... many nice places to eat... some good budget (even within my range!) accommodations... Not nearly as touristy as O'ahu (though there are some great places to snorkel there when conditions are good... but Maui can be fantastic... Kaui a little more restricted... and the other islands not nearly as developed or fun for a first time go around. Take a good, long read through the massive amount of info. on the Net... Bob Fenner>

Hawaiian Biotope tank Hi Bob. I wanted to thank you for coming out to the PMAS meeting. I really enjoyed your knowledge that was shared to us back here in Pittsburgh. I was also emailing about the Hawaiian biotope tank that I am in the process of stocking. I need those references that you told me to email you. Anyways thanks again. Jason Hails>> Are they printed, citation references? Have, at meeting you and chatting, added the section (Fishwatcher's Guide to the Tropical Marine Aquarium Fishes... of Hawai'i) to my website: www.wetwebmedia.com... take a look, and get back to me if this is either not clear, complete... Bob Fenner, who always greatly enjoys getting out to make presentations and mixing it up with fellow enthusiasts!

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