LILLEY: Meet the Long-Handed Spiny Lobster

I was diving down a steep underwater 400 foot cliff near the island of Ni‘ihau and at about 100 feet deep my dive buddy pointed into a hole in the cliff to show me something interesting to take a video of.

LILLEY: Meet pupu’ala the Hebrew Cone Shell

Almost every jewelry store in Hawai‘i sells puka shell necklaces but very few people know where these puka shells come from! Hawaii is very unique because we have large surf that crashes directly onto our reefs and beaches grinding up corals and shells. This is what makes our beach sand so beautiful but it makes it very hard to find whole shells up on the beach.

LILLEY: From the deep: Meet the Knifejaw fish

500 years ago in Hawaii before snorkel masks and fishing poles were invented the native Hawaiians stabbed fish with spears by hand or used several different types of fish traps.

LILLEY: Meet kahala the Almaco Jack

When out diving in Hawaiian waters you may see a very large four foot long silver colored fish go by which is not too unusual as we have some big fish species that live in fairly shallow water.

LILLEY: Meet manini the Convict Tang

Almost all divers here in Hawaii have seen large schools of manini as they are the most common fish that lives in shallow water but most divers do not know how important this fish is to the entire marine ecosystem.

LILLEY: Meet the Hawaiian Tiger Flatworm

We have lots of strange creatures that live out on our coral reefs here in Hawaii but the Tiger Flatworm ranks as one of the most bizarre. This three inch long very colorful creature crawls across the reef during the day and is highly poisonous. It contains in its skin tetrodotoxin which is the same poison that our pufferfish have in their skin.

Night snorkeling with the Ambon Toby

Going out on a night snorkel is like visiting a whole new planet! It is safe to do a night snorkel in shallow calm water when the surf is very small. Calm lagoons are best like Anini Beach in Kauai or Pupukea tide pool in Oahu.

LILLEY: Meet the blue rice coral

We have bright blue and purple corals that live in very shallow water here in Hawaii and also occur on other Pacific Islands from Palau to Tahiti!

Meet ‘o‘opu hue the Spotted Pufferfish

When you are diving and see this slow moving 15 inch long fish look but don’t touch! The pufferfish has a very deadly neurotoxin in its skin that is over 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide.

Meet umauma lei the Orangespine Unicornfish

Many of the Hawaiian fish species only live in Hawaii because the island chain is so isolated that many fish species evolved here and nowhere else in the Pacific Ocean. For a fish to get all the way to Hawaii its eggs must be able to float in currents from as far away as Tahiti or Guam so over millions of years Hawaii has a lot of beautiful reef fish but not as many as most other Pacific Islands.

Meet kohola the humpback whale

We have several whale species here in Hawaii and they are all called kohola but in old Hawaii the humpback whale was very rare in Hawaiian waters.