PHOTOS: 29,930 Maui Reef Fish Saved in Roi Roundup
By Wendy Osher
A total of 217 invasive fish were removed from reefs along west Maui yesterday in the fourth annual Roi Round-up event.
Peter Colombo and Jeremy Selg won the first place award for the capture of the most roi, or peacock grouper.
A total of 48 divers participated in the event to remove the invasive species from the reef, effectively saving an estimated 29,930 reef fish that would have been eaten by the species, according to event organizer Kuhea Paracuelles.
Other invasive fish targeted in the tournament were to‘au or blacktail snapper, and ta‘ape or blue-line snapper. All three species were introduced to Hawaiian waters in the 1950s.
Event organizers have pledged to never let any of the fish caught in these tournaments go to waste. In years past, fish have been donated to the Maui Ocean Center in Mā‘ālaea to feed the marine life. Some of the fish were also donated to an organic farmer for use as fertilizer.
Samples of roi are also collected by the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources to be used in ciguatera research.