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My experience is of snorkeling in Maui. On one of our first trips there, in 1982, we snorkeled at Napili & Kapalua. I was particularly enchanted with the parrot fish. There were several varieties. And each place we snorkeled at had a different species of wrasse. Wrasse and parrot fish were mostly gone the last time we were there, about 1992.

In 1989 we snorkeled at Molokini. There were sharks in Molokini, being fed by the boat crew. Lots of lovely live coral in the center of the crater. Last year we went back. No sharks. No live coral in the middle of the crater, which is about 20 ft deep. Most of the live coral is around the wall of the crater, where it isn't always safe to approach. The whole experience has changed. Without the live coral, there were many fewer fish, especially the small ones.

On a brighter note, now that feeding fish has been discouraged, and turtle hunting banned, we have seen an increase in fish variety at Ulua beach, and the number of turtles at Po'olenalena seems higher. Hurricanes & runoff from resorts & plantations have disrupted coral reefs. There was a private resort called Club Lanai.

In the early 90's snorkeling there was a very nice experience, lots of coral & fish. Only 2 years later the coral was almost all dead, except in deeper areas.

And most of the fish were gone.

Diane Meyers