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Scientists Return from Expedition to Papahanaumokuakea

Scientists return from Reef Assessment and Monitoring expedition to Papahanaumokuakea

On September 30, scientists aboard NOAA Ship Hiialakai returned to Oahu after completing a 24-day expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. During the NOAA-funded expedition, the team continued long-term monitoring of reef fish, algae, corals and other invertebrates; surveyed coral health; deployed Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS); and compared open circuit SCUBA and closed circuit rebreather diving.

Researchers conducted rapid ecological assessments of reef fish, corals and non-coral invertebrates to improve our understanding of the health of coral reef ecosystems throughout the archipelago. Rapid ecological assessments have been conducted in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands since 2000. Long-term monitoring provides information on the status and trends of reef conditions that helps managers make decisions about Monument management. Three distinguished students from the University of Hawaii participated in reef monitoring operations this year.

The scientific team of this year's RAMP expedition includes researchers from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii-Hilo, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

Images available here:

See posts from the expedition on the PMNM Facebook page:

Read more on the PMNM website:


Papahānaumokuākea is cooperatively managed to ensure ecological integrity and achieve strong, long-term protection and perpetuation of Northwestern Hawaiian Island ecosystems, Native Hawaiian culture, and heritage resources for current and future generations. Four co-trustees - the Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, State of Hawai‘i and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs - protect this special place. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was inscribed as the first mixed (natural and cultural) UNESCO World Heritage Site in the United States in July 2010.

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