HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – In the wake of the moi theft earlier this year, the Waikiki Aquarium Tuesday received a donation of 300 moi fingerlings from the Hawaii Pacific University's Oceanic Institute.
Currently being raised behind the scenes, the moi will go on display in the spring. The Aquarium also plans to release some of the fish into the ocean as part of its Earth Day event in April.
"We're so grateful for this donation from the Hawaii Pacific University's Oceanic Institute as it will allow us to better serve as a community and educational resource about the Pacific Threadfin, or moi," said aquarium director Andrew Rossiter. "This exhibit is truly unique in that it highlights Hawaii's role as a world-leader in this field of aquaculture and also shares the moi's cultural significance as the fish of Hawaiian royalty."
In addition to the moi donation, fifth-grade students and faculty of King William Lunalilo Elementary School raised and donated $112.39, which will be used to support the raising of the moi.
Fifteen of the Aquarium's 21 adult moi were stolen from the Aquarium's outdoor display tank in late September; a loss estimated at $1,500. Police continue to investigate the theft.
Founded in 1904 and administered by the University of Hawaii at Manoa since 1919, the Waikiki Aquarium is located on the shoreline of Waikiki Beach next to a living reef and across from Kapiolani Park. The Aquarium – third oldest in the U.S. – showcases more than 500 marine species, and maintains more than 3,500 marine specimens. Public exhibits, education programs and research focus on the unique aquatic life of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. The Aquarium welcomes more than 320,000 visitors annually, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Honolulu Marathon Sunday and Christmas Day. Admission is $9 for visitors; $6 for local residents, active duty military with ID, students with ID and seniors; $4 for youths ages 13-17 and persons with disabilities; $2 for juniors ages 5 to 12; and free for children 4 and under and Friends of Waikiki Aquarium (FOWA) members. For more information about the Waikiki Aquarium, including membership, please call 808-923-9741 808-923-9741 or visit www.waquarium.org.