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Hawaii Marine Life Stars in ABC Series “Ocean Mysteries”

Posted on June 18, 2015

Tracking the movement of tiger sharks in Maui waters and night diving with manta rays off Hawaii Island’s Kona Coast.

Yup. Chalk these up to another couple of days and aquatic adventures in the life of noted animal and nature conservationist Jeff Corwin for his Emmy-winning ABC series “Ocean Mysteries.” After watching the series’ two Hawaii-filmed episodes, we’re seriously considering whether our weekend downtime here in the Islands is being spent as adventurously rewarding as Corwin’s.

Photo Credit: Big Island Visitors Bureau / Kirk Aeder

Case in point, the episode “Amazing Mantas,” which has Corwin diving in moonlit waters off the Kona Coast in search of the large rays. It doesn’t take long for a trio of large manta to stop by his plankton-attracting light array to feed and do barrel rolls as they inhale mouthfuls of the tiny sea organisms. In the episode’s second Hawaii manta segment, Corwin explores a coral reef, a mile offshore of Lahaina on Maui’s west side, which also serves as a natural underwater cleaning station for the rays.

Photo Credit: Big Island Visitors Bureau / Jerry Kane

On his “Eye of the Tiger Shark” episode of “Ocean Mysteries,” Corwin cruises off the south side of Maui with a team of University of Hawaii marine biologists to study the overlapping of tiger shark daily activities and human ocean activities. After chumming the water with fresh ahi (tuna) heads (way, way offshore, we should add), Corwin and the biologists catch, GPS tag and release tiger sharks to track their movement, migration and behavior in Hawaii waters.

You can catch both Hawaii-filmed “Ocean Mysteries” episodes, which were first broadcast on ABC affiliate stations in February, online in their entirety on Hulu by clicking these links:

“Amazing Mantas”

“Eye of the Tiger Shark”

We don’t recommend swimming with tiger sharks on your next visit to Hawaii. However, several ocean activity companies offer manta ray night dives and snorkeling tours, year-round in two locations just off the Kona Coast.

Photo Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority / Kirk Aeder

Rather remain on terra firma? The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay cast spotlights on their bay- and beachfronts each evening to attract manta and their preferred edibles. You can simply watch manta gliding beneath the ocean surface from the shore and stay comfortably dry.

And don’t forget, a couple of great places where you can always check out the impressive breadth of Hawaii marine life up close are the Waikiki Aquarium on Oahu and the Maui Ocean Center.

For more information on the experience of manta ray night diving on Hawaii Island, click here.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) assisted in bringing “Ocean Mysteries” to the Hawaiian Islands as part of its public relations initiatives.

-by So Much More Hawaii Staff

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