Monday, February 06, 2006

Hawaii scuba diving rocks...

Well, today it rocks, and rolls. Surf is up. Once again, we are having what is supposedly the biggest swell of the year according to the TV stations. It's not that bad from my place, but I haven't been down to the harbor (no charter today) to check it out. We'll be getting fewer and few of these types of swell as winter passes and we get into spring.

Since I'm not diving today, I think I'll put up another photo of tangs or surgeonfish. These guys are yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens), with a few other assorted fish mixed in. They spend their days picking algae off the reef. The scalpel on these guys isn't as predominant as on the unicorn style tangs. Instead of two fully extended scalpels, they have a single retractible scalpel on each side. Notice the white spot near the tail, that will flip out and give them a blade for defense if needed.

Yellow tangs are one of our more recognizable reef fish. We can have large schools of them working the reefs, although you don't seem to see as many of them in the areas near town as you do further out. Part of that could be harvesting pressures from the aquarium trade - that in itself is worthy of a few posts. The tropical fish collection trade is more regulated these days than in the past, and it seems to be benefitting everyone... fish stocks are increasing, and harvests are increasing... but it can be a hot topic with divers on both sides. Anyway, Kona is likely the top producer in the world of yellow tangs for the home aquarium trade (I may touch on some of this later).



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