About Maui Ocean Center
Coral World International opened Maui Ocean Center, the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere, in 1998. Since then, Maui Ocean Center has drawn thousands of visitors of all ages from around the globe to discover Hawaiiâ€™s undersea world in a captivating and educational setting. Aptly termed â€śThe Hawaiian Aquariumâ€ť, this 3-acre marine park faithfully replicates the natural ocean ecosystem, where visitors encounter only animals that occur in Hawaii; many of which are found nowhere else in the world! Featuring the largest collection of live corals in the nation, and over 60 exhibits, including interpretive displays, outdoor touch pools and a 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit with 240-degree view acrylic tunnel, the marine park is designed to help visitors develop an understanding and appreciation of Hawaiiâ€™s marine environment.
With the mission to foster an understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaiiâ€™s marine life, all animals at Maui Ocean Center are meticulously collected and cared for by an expert team of marine biologists, divers and aquarists. Collection is conducted under strict permits with the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources and under the guidance of Hawaiian cultural adviser, Kahu (caretaker) Dane Maxwell.
Maui Ocean Center is respectfully in compliance with a County of Maui ordinance prohibiting the exhibit of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). Discover these fascinating mammals, along with monk seals through interpretive displays in the Marine Mammal Discovery Center.
Hawaiian Cultural Heritage
Dedicated to perpetuating and sharing the islandâ€™s host culture, Maui Ocean Center maintains a close relationship with Hawaiian practitioners in the community. With the guidance of Kahu Dane Maxwell, the Aquarium integrates Hawaiian culture in presentations, exhibits, special events, and also in the marine parkâ€™s standard of operations and service. Kahu Dane Maxwell presides over blessings of important functions and facilities, as well as blessings of marine animals such as the honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) or manĹŤ (shark).
The â€śHawaiians and the Seaâ€ť exhibit remains one of the highlights of the facility. Various cultural advisers and members of the community have contributed to the exhibit so that visitors may better understand the intimate relationship between the Hawaiian people and the sea. The collective result is a unique learning experience and a delightful immersion into Hawaiiâ€™s rich cultural history.
Coral World International
Coral World International was founded in the mid 1970â€™s by entrepreneur and ocean enthusiast Benjamin Kahn and world renowned reef biologist David Fridman. Coral World's tropical displays are recognized as the most beautiful in the world. The company specializes in creating ecologically friendly tropical life systems in symbiotic environments. These systems are planned with an eye to accuracy and detail, and are carefully designed to ensure the perfect combination of fascination, aesthetics, conservation and education.
The Coral World International group currently owns three other aquariums around the world:
The Underwater Observatory - Eilat, Israel
Palma Aquarium â€“ Palma de Mallorca, Spain
AQWA â€“ Perth, Australia.
In 2008, Benjamin Kahn, President of Coral World International was awarded the â€śHero of the Environmentâ€ť in recognition of his environmental efforts by Time Magazine.