Uncle Merv’s Travels

Local ambassador chosen for trip to Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Mervin Dudoit is going places, including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands!

By Jennifer Smith

Molokai’s own Uncle Mervin Dudoit has received the honor of sharing his local expertise with researchers in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Only three individuals from the state of Hawaii were given the privilege to partake in the research trip.

“It’s going to be something really unreal to see,” Uncle Merv said, hours before his flight to Oahu. He will spend a couple days on Oahu preparing for the 12 day trip to Nihoa, Mokumanamana, and the French Frigate Shoals.

The researchers will partake in a series of workshops to help them identify the fish when they arrive in the Islands, and to ensure they do not contaminate the area when they are studying the ecosystems.

Uncle Merv has spent the last four years helping to caretake One Ali`i fishpond for Ka Honua Momona. Unpaid, he works with youth and community volunteers most days to restore the area. “The kids want me to go and tell them what is going on over there,” he said about the upcoming trip.

“I think it’s going to be really exciting,” Uncle Merv said, explaining that he looks forward to sharing his local knowledge. He said he will talk about what he does with the kids at the fishpond, and the importance of taking care of the `aina and passing on the culture.

The well-known fisherman and diver said he knows the local name for most of the fishes, but said he is sure he will see some fish there that he has never seen before. “I would like to know what the difference is” between Molokai and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Uncle Merv said. He saw pictures of the area, and said the water there appears to be free of the silt found on the south side of Molokai.

Uncle Merv said he is also excited to see what he can learn and bring back to Molokai.


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