Students Want 'Moi' Science

Andrew Rossiter
Andrew Rossiter
Chelsey Keoho
Chelsey Keoho
Kekoa Panoke
Kekoa Panoke

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- "Earth Day" is coming up on April 22, but the Waikiki Aquarium celebrated it Sunday. It hosted a series of events involving close to 20 environmental organizations. One fun activity takes a unique approach to a science experiment.

This teenage bucket brigade is more than an excuse to have fun at the beach. These Kamehameha students release pacific threadfin fish called moi, bred in captivity.

"The idea is that the kids who release them will have a sense of ownership and appreciation of the sea," said Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikiki Aquarium.

"I learned about the fish, the moi, and how to let it go slowly and carefully," said Chelsey Keoho, a student at Kamehameha schools.

Each moi is tagged with an individual number before they're set free. The hope is to learn about their activity in the ocean.

"It's wonderful, wonderful scientific information because the fish will be released, they go off and do their thing," said Rossiter. "And hopefully sometime in the future, a fisherman will catch them, one of them, retrieve the tag, bring it back to the department of aquatic resources, and they know how big the fish has grown in a certain time and where they migrate to. Very, very important program."

Important and enjoyable for these young students.

"We just got to see a lot of stuff, and the fish and the animals, the sea animals," said Kekoa Panoke, another student at Kamehameha schools.

"It was really fun and exciting," said Keoho.

Not surprisingly, they most enjoyed running into the ocean.

"What was the best part?" asked KHNL.

"Getting wet," said Panoke with a laugh.

"Would you do this again?" asked KHNL.

"Definitely," he answered.

A science lesson, Hawaiian style.

Close to 50 moi were released into the ocean. They were bred in captivity by the department of land and natural resources' division of aquatic resources.