According to pretty much all of the divers I met on Maui, batfishes don’t technically exist in the Hawaiian waters. Pauline Fiene at Mike Severns Diving led the dive where I took this image, and she commented that it might very well be an “aquarium release” – someone with a salt-water fishtank might have released it into the local waters.
Apparently they started showing up a few years ago (curse my memory, I want to say eight years ago or so?), schooling in relatively non-traveled areas. Non-traveled by tourists, at least. They’re pretty territorial, however, and tend to stay in areas that are familiar to them. This guy had been hanging around in the cabin of the St. Anthony (opens in Flickr, click through for the larger image!). Locals weren’t believing the divemasters, even – at least, not until they saw video footage.
Regarding the photograph itself: I wish, oh I wish… well, I wish I had been a bit smarter. Light was provided by the high power of the dive lights that Pauline carried. Image sharpness is decent, at least for underwater. So how did I manage to clip the tail?
Every photo had minor defects, this being the one with the fewest.