PROTECTING THE FRAGILE BEAUTY
OF TROPICAL FISH, SO THAT OUR
CHILDREN CAN ENJOY THEM, TOO.
By Robert Wintner AKA Snorkel Bob
It’s time to put on your diving gear! You’re about to be transported to the depths of the ocean to explore some of Hawaii’s most beautiful and unique sea creatures. Neptune Speaks (Skyhorse Publishing, October 2012) is packed with 540 full-color photographs of tropical fish on every page, but this book is more than just a beautiful guide. It’s a call to defend the creatures of the sea that are under attack by fierce predators—humans.
Neptune Speaks delves into the perils of trafficking in wildlife for the pet trade. The popularity of keeping tropical fish in home and office aquariums, and the overfishing of waters around the world to satisfy the demands of diners looking for ever-more exotic fare have put these amazing species in danger of disappearing entirely. The author, most commonly known as Snorkel Bob, will explore and explain all the factors that perpetuate the destruction of fish and their habitats, while his photographs demonstrate the beauty and grade of the creatures we need to protect. Humorous commentary brings lightheartedness to the text. But make no mistake; the issues discussed are serious ones! If we don’t stop the destruction of these beautiful creatures, the images in books will be all we have left.
About The Author
Robert Wintner, AKA Snorkel Bob, works tirelessly and with great charm to educate the public about the need to protect our marine life from the devastating effects of the restaurant and aquarium industries on marine life and habitat. Snorkel Bob owns dive shops that sell Snorkel Bob scuba gear, and is the founder of the Snorkel Bob Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reef defense. He lives in Kihei, Hawaii.
Snorkel Bob is a waterlogged, gill-breathing reef addict, owner of the only fin and snorkel manufacturing company in Hawaii, and the state’s largest reef outfitter.
Out of water he’s immersed in that least destructive of human behaviors—the pursuit of art. Under the nom de plume Robert Wintner, his literary fiction has met with mixed reviews—raves from the literarily astute; ravings from the values-challenged.
Wintner’s most recent books are Flame Angels, a novel of Oceania (Iguana Books, Toronto, Ontario: 2012) and Neptune Speaks (Skyhorse, NY: 2012)
Wintner’s short fiction has appeared in Hawaii Review, (U of Hawaii) and Sports Illustrated. His third novel, Horndog Blue (E.R. Smallwood, ’94) was favorably reviewed, including a personal note from the ex-wife, who said, “I marveled at (Wintner’s) literary ability. Did I already tell you this? I may have, but have forgotten.”
Wintner’s 2007 novel, In a Sweet Magnolia Time (Permanent Press, Sag Harbor, NY) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Toucan Whisper, Toucan Sing (Permanent Press, ’02) was widely reviewed as a triumph of lyrical fiction in a Mexican tourism setting. His adventure novel of the sailing charter trade Whirlaway (Smallwood, ’95) was a Maui County Library Hot Pick for 15 years and still resonates with the charter community.
Whirlaway and The Modern Outlaws were both optioned for film rights by Hollywood production companies. Many other novels and accolades have come forth over the years, though the building blocks for Every Fish Tells a Story and Some Fishes I Have Known (Skyhorse, NY) were set into place long ago.
Robert Wintner recalls the day in 1955 when his father took him to Walgreen’s in Miami for a $2 mask & snorkel—the deluxe with the ping-pong ball—then down to the beach and into the shallows. The old man’s wingtips got soaked as Bobby put his face in the water. A 3” sand crab waved a claw, and Bobby took it for a greeting, looking up and sputtering, “Oh, God! You can see everything!”
Today, Robert Wintner is Executive Director of the Snorkel Bob Foundation and an active member of Hawaii’s conservation community, working diligently to protect Hawaii’s reefs. The Snorkel Bob Foundation was instrumental in protecting the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) as Papahanaumokuakea Marine Monument.
Wintner has worked the point position against the aquarium trade in Hawaii and around the world for the last few years. He is known in Hawaii business for media substance that entertains and sells and uses his professional skills to conserve Hawaii reefs.
The Snorkel Bob Foundation was instrumental in underwriting and producing a “reef etiquette” video PSA that airs in hotels and other tourist venues. Wintner also produced a PSA that aired statewide, advocating the end to gillnet fishing. This gillnet PSA was effective in completely banning gillnets on Maui.
Neptune Speaks; Skyhorse Publishing, NY: 2012; $30; hardcover; 278 pages in 8-1/2 x 11 format
Flame Angels, a novel of Oceania; Iguana Books, Toronto, Ontario: 2012; $26; softcover & electronic format