Aulani reef fish helping science 2023

At Disney’s Aulani Resort &Spa at Koolina, the vibrant reef fish in Oahu’s only man-made snorkeling lagoon do more than simply swim around and look beautiful for hotel guests.

The Aulani aquarium program is collaborating with the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University to assist in the propagation of reef fish for which captive reproduction has historically been unsuccessful.

“Their efforts to collect eggs have significantly improved our ability to conduct hatchery research on some key species,” said Chad Callan, the director of the finfish program at the Oceanic Institute and an aquatic researcher.

They are advancing scientific knowledge.

Since 2016, ova collected from Aulani’s Rainbow Reef snorkeling lagoon have led to the first successful captive reproduction of milletseed butterflyfish, potters angelfish, Hawaiian cleaner wrasse, yellowtail coris, and yellow longnose butterflyfish in Callan’s lab.

The Aulani eggs, according to Callan, have enabled his lab to test its culture techniques on additional reef species to determine their applicability to a wider range of situations.

“So far, it’s been a fantastic partnership, and we’re excited to see it continue to grow,” he said, adding that he is also collaborating with other aquariums in the state.

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