Getting Crabby


My previous attempts to make homemade crab traps for the small crabs I’m using (Thalamita crenata) did not work. Today Hi’ilei (the executive director of Paepae o He’eia) showed me how to use crab nets to catch them. We used chopped up uku head (though awa’awa skins are the best because they have a strong smell and are easy to tie down) and tied the pieces of fish into circular crab nets. Once we dropped the nets into the water, it took about 15 minutes for the little Thalamita to start showing up. I removed each crab from the net, measured the width of its carapace, took one of its claws, and released it. Their claws grow back, and one claw contains more than enough muscle tissue for stable isotope analysis.

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  • Mahalo Nui Loa

    I recently graduated from the Donahue Lab at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and am currently a graduate student at the University of Washington. This research is funded by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, as well a scholarship from the Seattle chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation.
  • “Where do ecological ideas come from? …Most do not spring deductively from the minds of ecologists, like Athena from the head of Zeus. Instead, they emerge when ecologists absorb the essential spirit of individual places– their genius loci.”

    ~Mary V. Price & Ian Billick, "The Ecology of Place"
  • “Aloha is the intelligence with which we meet life.”

    ~Olana A'i, Kumu Hula

  • “I no longer say ‘Hawaiian ways of knowing’ anymore. Because people relegate that to the margins. ‘Ways of knowing,’ as if it’s a quaint, anthropologic way of describing something outside us. No, it’s ‘epistemology,’ the philosophy of knowledge. Land educates. ‘Ike ‘aina. The land of your birth educates you. This land here educates you.”

    ~Manu Meyer

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