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Old 04-18-2005, 02:41 PM   #1
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fresh comments about Maui

We just got back and I have some commentary. We were shocked at how much you can see just from the marina dock. We were waiting in line for our snorkeling trip and were just looking down into the water at the edge of the dock and it was full of fish. Yellow tangs, moorish idols, niger triggers, and naso tangs abounded. Then when we got to the mooring spot and got in the water, it was just teaming with life. I saw literally thousands and thousands of dollars worth of fish and the corals were limitless. They weren't even afraid of all the snorkelers(the fish not the corals ). I couldn't believe the variety of both. It was spectacular. We got some pictures and I hope they turned out. We also went to the Maui Ocean Center and they had every fish, invert, coral imaginable. It was unbelievable. If you get to Maui you must go to this place. There was a porcupine puffer that was every bit of two feet long and as big around as a basketball(unpuffed). He was fantastic. We got a pic of him too. We even saw a fish dead on the beach that was very strange. He was about 7 bright colors and was about 12 inches long by 6 inches tall. Even dead he was gorgeous. He kind of resembled that 900$ fish that was posted on here awhile back. And on a last note I'll tell about our really great find. We discovered that it is legal to remove dead coral frag rubble from the beach and bring it home. We had to buy two new suitcases to get our clothes home but it was worth it. We found(on one beach alone) appx 85 pounds of coral frags(big and little) almost all was branches like acropora and montipora. It filled a 20 gallon tub(I use for water changes). We bleached and dried it in Maui and loaded it into garbage bags, then into suitcases. When we got home I put it into the tub of fresh water and am running powerheads for circulation. Will probably cycle like that for a week to be sure there aren't any live organisms left. This will just about fill up both of my tanks to max capacity. And they are beautiful pieces mostly with some small rubble for the filters. And don't worry, I phoned every regulating agency(agriculture and federal export) plus we called airport security first. It seems that you cannot take dirt, sand,lava rock, or any kind of plant, seed, stem. But you can take frags from the beach,but of course not the live stuff from the ocean.
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Good luck! Kat
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Old 04-18-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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I am glad you had fun on Maui.

I have lived here for 7 years now, and I still enjoy free diving and checking out the reef environment. I saw two cuttlefish the other day, which are rare in Hawaii. The Ocean Center is really cool - they could make it cheaper for residents though.

The DLNR website for Hawaii is pretty easy to use and is explict about what you can and cannot take off the the beaches, or out of Hawaii. Certain beaches are 100% coral rubble. The longer the stuff lays on the beach, getting hit by waves, the more worn the rubble gets. After a while it just ends up as sand. I use the sun bleached coral stones as base rock.

I would be careful taking rocks out of Hawaii however. There are all kinds of Hawaiian taboos and stories about removing stones from the islands.
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Old 04-18-2005, 06:42 PM   #3
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Yes we had heard that it was just plain bad luck to take rock and especially lava rock. Even the security guy at the airport said that was the reason not to take it. We found some coral skeleton attached to some lava and were certain to leave it there. We only took actual skeletal remains and nothing that was attached to a real rock. Even then, there were thousands of beautiful pieces that were left behind because they were attached to rock. Even my mother said, before we left, not to take the sand or rocks because it was bad luck. But we took lots of pictures of the red and black sand beaches and the lava flows. I wish I had known about that website though, because we got alot of runaround from all the authorities there. Each one we called said they did not know of any laws forbidding it and gave us another phone number to call. After four of these calls we finally called airport security to get the final say so. Even then we were afraid they would stop us in the airport, but no they did not. We loved your island and were very careful not to mess it up. Ya'll seem to be very environmentally aware and we were careful to be that way too while there.
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