Rice Corals (Montipora capitata), Kane'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawaii

Coral resilience under climate stress: Insights from Hawaiian reefs

In 2015, amidst a marine heatwave, Barott’s team tagged numerous coral colonies, initiating a study on coral adaptability. Their focus: the rice coral (Montipora capitata) and finger coral (Porites compressa), two dominant species in the region. Over the years, multiple heatwaves provided a unique opportunity to observe coral responses, revealing both resilience and vulnerability.

Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis)
Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) is one of the many shark species now protected in Hawaii.

Shark fishing is now illegal in Hawaiian waters

The ban does not apply to people with permits issued by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), shark fishing for public safety, sharks captured for self-defence, or sharks taken outside of state marine waters with required documentation.

According to Act 51, the conditions of non-commercial permits for the take of sharks “shall include native Hawaiian cultural protocol, size and species restrictions, and a prohibition on species listed as endangered or threatened.”

Photographing Giant Manta Rays at Night in Kona Hawaii

Female reef mantas mature in eight to ten years.

Diving with giant manta rays is always an exhilarating experience. Being in the water with these large intelligent animals is always humbling. They are also spectacular subjects for photography and video. Kona Hawaii in the United States is famous for night diving and snorkeling with the local mantas. This can produce stunning images, but it does take some special techniques.

NOAA ship Hi'ialaka

Highest rates of unique marine species discovered in northwestern Hawaii

Using advanced diving technology to survey coral reefs at depths up to 300 feet, scientists could observe rarely seen ecosystems, during the expedition that took place aboard NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai within Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The fish surveys at these depths revealed an extremely high abundance of species found only in the Hawaiian Islands. At some of the deep reefs surveyed, 100 percent of the fishes recorded were endemic.

The false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean, and the third largest member of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae)
The false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean, and the third largest member of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae)

False Killer Whales to recieve protection

False killer whales in the “Hawaiʻi Insular Stock” (animals found within 76 nautical miles of the main Hawaiian Islands) are being killed in Hawaiʻi-based longlines at nearly twice the sustainable rate, contributing to a 9 per cent decline in the population each year since 1989.

Currently, the Hawaii stock is estimated at 270 whales and the Northern Gulf of Mexico stock at 1040 whales.