CRITTER: Meet hinalea ‘i‘iwi from Hale‘iwa

Looking out over my dive site the other day right off of the town of Hale‘iwa on the north shore of O‘ahu I saw three black iwa birds circling high above. It is fitting that they were flying right above Hale‘iwa as the town’s name means “house of the iwa Bird.”

CRITTER: Moa the boxfish that was half male and half female

Over the past 15 years it was my goal in Hawai‘i as a marine biologist to identify and shoot video of every fish species that occurs here, so I could do marine life identification movies for our school education program and also to educate tourists.

CRITTER: Fresh water coral bleaching event in Maui in 2015

There have been a lot of articles lately in the news about coral bleaching and how rising sea temperatures may be to blame. It is easy to attach a cause to the decline of our coral reefs on earth but the sea is very complex and what kills corals in Australia or Indonesia may not be killing corals in Hawai‘i.

CRITTER: Lehe the Hawaiian thicklipped jack

Fishman here in Hawai‘i like to catch the giant trevally (ulua) or a large bluefin trevally (omilu) as these are the two most common large game fish that live on our shallow near shore reefs.

CRITTER: “Sharktober” October shark attacks explained

For the past five years I have been in the National Geographic series every summer called When Sharks Attack. The purpose of the show is to expose possible explanations for why sharks sometimes bite swimmers, surfers, paddlers and divers here in Hawai‘i.

CRITTER: Healthy corals found in The Coral Triangle

In 2015 here in Hawai‘i we had a coral bleaching event that killed a lot of our shallow water corals especially in Maui and Hawaiian Island but on Molokai, Lana‘i, Ni‘ihau, Kaua‘i and parts of O‘ahu the corals remained healthy. This odd pattern of coral deaths in Hawai‘i was unusual and I set out to try and find the reason we lost so much coral but only in certain locations.

CRITTER: Record coral growth recorded at Anini Beach

For the last five years myself and the Reef Guardians Hawai‘i nonprofit research team have taken over 500 kids in our Reef Camp out to see the beautiful yellow antler corals growing about 100 yards offshore from the boat ramp at Anini Beach.

CRITTER: The story behind Hawai‘i corals and their colors

When we are out snorkeling here in Hawai‘i we all see hard stony coral that has different colors. Coral is made up of a hard calcium carbonate structure that is similar to the concrete we build condominiums out of on land. The hard calcium structure protects the soft clear coral polyps from being washed away in the surf much like a house on land protects soft bodied humans from washing away in a storm.

CRITTER: Uhu the parrotfish goes through sex change to reproduce

Seeing a large male parrotfish out on the reef is very exciting because they are so colorful with bright blue, green, purple,red and yellow markings. These large male breeders are called “super males” and they usually can be found along with four or five females that have a dull reddish reef color. At one time in their life the large adult males used to be females!