School of Ta’ape at Second Cathedrals, Lana’i


Known in English as Blueline snapper, ta’ape were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1950’s.

Schooling fish which are native to Tahiti, the ta’ape fishery never took off and the numbers have become out of control.

Like a yellow swarm of aquatic locusts, clouds of ta’ape will descend on a reef and feast upon dozens of native fish. The result are reefs which are lacking in herbivores but are swarming with schools of ta’ape by the hundreds.

Despite throwing off the natural balance, however, these schools of ta’ape are great for divers who lose themselves in a cloud of yellow.

Here, at Second Cathedrals off the coastline of Lana’i, we get up close and personal with the swarming yellow cloud.

You can find this photo as a highlight on AFAR…

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