A total of 271 invasive fish were caught over the weekend in the annual Roi Roundup diving tournament on Maui. That translates to nearly 39,600 native fish potentially saved, since each roi or peacock grouper can consume an average of 146 fish per year.
Seventy-four divers on 37 teams competed in the tournament, in which 254 roi (peacock grouper), 12 taape (blue-line snapper) and 5 toau (black-tail snapper) were caught.
Winning first place for most fish caught was Dean Kawamura and Bryan Nakamoto with 31 fish; 2nd place, with 29 fish was Rob Fujimoto and Demetrius Xenos; and 3rd place with 27 fish was Kaulana Kaaa and Mark Riglos. Other prizes were: Most toau—George Rivera and Lyndon Honda; Most taape—Dana HueSing and Brandon Lee; Largest roi—Bobby Twitchell at 3.93 lbs; and Smallest roi—Chadd Quedding at 0.702 oz.
The roi species is known to have a high risk of carrying the ciguatera toxin that can cause serious illness in some people. All roi exceeding one pound were donated to ciguatera research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The rest of the fish were donated to an organic farmer who will compost them for fertilizer.