WAILUKU - The Kahekili Herbivore Enhancement Area Project needs volunteer snorkelers to gather data on eating habits and behavior of herbivorous fish and their schools.
Data is needed on three families: parrotfish, or uhu; surgeon fish, such as manini and kala; and chubs, or nenue.
Herbivorous fish and urchins eat algae or seaweed that grow on reefs. Studies throughout Hawaii have shown that reefs with abundant herbivorous fish have fewer problems with invasive seaweed growth.
The Kahekili Herbivore Enhancement Area Project believes that in order to help increase stocks of herbivorous fish, the level of harvesting of such fish in designated areas should be reduced.
Two volunteer training workshops will be held, to be followed by field training. Workshops will include background of the project, training for three survey methods, parrotfish identification and information on other upcoming opportunities.
Workshops are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment Center at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary education classroom in Kihei.
Field training sessions are set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Kahekili Beach Park and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 9 and 19 at Ahihi Cove.
Field training sessions are subject to favorable ocean conditions. Carpooling is recommended.
To register, call Darla White at 345-2312, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.