Maui Arts & Entertainment

Sleep With the Fishes at the Maui Ocean Center

May 26, 2013, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated May 28, 11:34 AM
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By Vanessa Wolf

This is a nudibranch, peeps. Nature is a mind blower. Courtesy photo

This is a nudibranch, peeps. Nature is a mind blower. Courtesy photo.

This week, the Maui Ocean Center offers two intriguing events, neither of which are (likely to be) fatal.

The first, the latest in the Sea Talk Series, features local diver and biologist Pauline Fiene.

On Tuesday, May 28 from 6 to 7 p.m., she will be presenting a talk on “N…aked Gills and Chemical Costumes: the Unusual Lives of Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs.”

Renowned in Hawaii’s marine science community, Fiene has a BS in biology and has studied Hawaiian marine life for over 26 years, concentrating on the subclass of Opisthobranchia which includes nudibranchs and their relatives.


This is Fiene’s debut presentation on sea slugs and nudibranchs, so you can be among the first in the know about their colorful lifestyle.

Sea slugs are badass. Courtesy photo

Sea slugs are badass. Courtesy photo.


During this presentation, Fiene will focus on the evolution of sea slugs from their seashell ancestors, and include information on their impressive chemical defenses and beautiful and varied body forms. She will also discuss the reasons these animals are chemically interesting to medical science and share the latest information about Hawaiian sea slugs.

During her talk, Fiene will describe nudibranch life histories and some rare long-term observations of a pair of nudibranchs in the wild.

Nudibranchs in the wild?


We know you’re already rearranging your schedule in your mind to attend this.

Sea Talks are held at Maui Ocean Center in the Open Ocean exhibit. Admission is complimentary with entry through the aquarium’s front gate from 5:50 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Seating is limited and given on a first come, first served basis. Advance reservations are recommended by calling (808) 270-7088

Usually suggestions that one “sleep with the fishes” involve Mafioso types and concrete shoes. However, the Maui Ocean Center’s “Sleep with the Sharks” event is likely survivable AND fun.

Limited to kids 8 to 13 years old (dang it!!!), the event begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31 and lasts until 8 a.m. the following morning.

The sleepover includes hands-on discovery lessons, ocean-themed games, crafts, and a souvenir. Food is also provided. Your offspring will enjoy a pizza dinner, continental breakfast, and snacks.

The deadline to register is by noon this Thursday, May 30. The sleepover costs $60 per child and aquarium members receive 15% off. Reservations are required. Call 808-270-7075.

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (

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