Animal Instinct

By Chun, Gary Cw | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, June 4, 2013 | Go to article overview

Animal Instinct


Chun, Gary Cw, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Jeff Corwin came to Hawaii last week in search of adventure and ocean knowledge, and said he never tires of visiting the islands.

The conservationist and television host was here to shoot three episodes for the third season of "Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin," which airs Saturday mornings on ABC.

With the Hawai'i Tourism Authority underwriting some of the production costs, Corwin arranged a jam-packed visit.

On Wednesday, he worked with Carl Meyer of the University of Hawaii's Institute of Marine Biology to satellite-tag tiger sharks, sixgill sharks and sandbar sharks that had been brought to the surface from a depth of 1,000 feet off Oahu.

Thursday morning while visiting the Waikiki Aquarium, Corwin, 45, showed off some scrapes on his right arm, the result of a close encounter with one of the tiger sharks.

While at the aquarium, Corwin interacted with monk seals and toured the exhibits. Then he was off to Hawaii island, where he joined marine biologist Richard Pyle on a deep-sea dive off the Kona coast in search of new or rarely seen species.

At 200 to 450 feet, the dive is too deep for regular scuba gear but not deep enough to use submersibles. So Pyle trained Corwin and his camera crew in the use of "rebreather" scuba devices that recirculate divers' exhaled air, adding gas to replace the oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. The systems are favored for longer dive times, and because they produce no bubbles, they offer divers a stealthier approach to marine life.

On Sunday, Corwin was scheduled to undertake a tropical reef inventory off Kona with aquatic biologist Bill Walsh of UH-Hilo as they followed a migration of tang fish. He left Hawaii on Monday.

"Hawaii is a special place because it offers so many compelling stories," Corwin said.

Corwin and the "Ocean Mysteries"?crew travel the world's oceans in search of interesting stories that not only have a bit of adventure, but also convey a message about the importance of ocean research.

He 's been a mainstay on television since the late 1990s, when he hosted "Going Wild with Jeff Corwin" on the Disney Channel. …

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