At the present time, I am generally focused on raising awareness about the need for comprehensive, well enforced conservation policies for parrotfishes around Hawai‘i. Parrotfishes or uhu in Hawaiian are important herbivorous fishes that live on coral reefs. They play an incredibly important role in eating seaweeds that grow naturally on coral reefs. Seaweeds compete for space and light with corals and if kept unchecked by herbivores like uhu, can overgrow and eventually exclude corals from entire reefs.
It is critical that Hawai‘i move toward proper protection of these fishes and other important coral reef herbivores. Corals are under stress from global threats like ocean warming and ocean acidification that will challenge the ability of corals to adapt in time to survive in future oceans. It is crucial that we protect herbivores like uhu that serve as the lawnmowers of the sea to give future corals a fighting chance in its eternal struggle for space and light with seaweeds.
In order to push forward an environmental agenda that includes the conservation of large herbivorous fishes, I have co-founded an organization called The Uhu Conservancy. Our organization is focused on using the unifying power of music to spread our message of uhu and coral reef conservation to the general public. We have begun to take our first steps in reaching out to local communities by putting on our first concert to benefit Music for Uhu at the concert venue Nextdoor in Honolulu’s Chinatown. We are additionally collaborating with a local musicians to produce monthly videos that include a live video set and an interview as to why they are interested in uhu and ocean conservation. To learn more about our organization including information about our events and web series please visit our website:
I am also currently collaborating with organizations in Hawai‘i on community outreach opportunities through educational and citizen science experiential learning. Educational programs like the Science Inquiry Education Program at HIMB as well as citizen science programs like Reef Check Hawai‘i and 5Gyres are my initial points of focus. I am also committed to maintain my ties to primary education through involvement with outreach opportunities at local elementary schools.
Please help us to restart the Reef Check Hawai‘i program by liking our Facebook page and keeping up to date on current events, upcoming meetings, and RC certifications. Thank you very much!