Fish Facts: The problem with plastic
Most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind
PLASTIC is the predominant type of man made debris found in today's rivers and oceans, with between 60
and 80 percent of all marine
debris today comprised of petroleum-based plastics.
This is despite the fact that plastic pollution is only a relatively recent phenomenum. Rafts of floating plastic at sea began to be reported in the
scientific literature in the early 1970s but in the 40 years since, the problem has reached the far corners of the global oceans. Sure, the most obvious
visible plastic pollution is inshore, such as those rafts of flotsam seen on our beaches and intertidal areas after flood events. However, recent
science is showing this is only the tip of the iceberg and most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind.
> Read entire article at FishingWorld.com
Species of new coral seen off South Kona coast
January 30, 2014 - West Hawaii Today
A research team with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources has discovered
off the South Kona coast a species of coral new to the main Hawaiian Islands.
In a release issued Wednesday, the DLNR reported that team
members came across a large number of coral colonies they had never encountered before while doing reconnaissance scuba dives in April
along the South Kona coast.
"These robust finger-like colonies didn't even look like they were related to any other corals in the
vicinity of the main islands," the release stated.
HWF's project coordinator Megan Lamson, who also works as a technician with Division of Aquatic Resources,
was one of the scientific divers that discovered this new Acropora species.
The team returned the next day to photograph and document the colonies, and
tentatively identified the species as Acropora gemmifera.
The species is common in shallow, tropical reef environments in the
Red Sea, Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the central and western Pacific, but there are few records from the Northwestern
Hawaiian Islands. It can be found, however, at Johnston Atoll, approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.
The colonies vary
in color from tan and brown to green, blue and purple, according to the release. "Not only is this the first record
of A. gemmifera in the main Hawaiian Islands, it's the first record of any Acropora species occurring around the island of Hawaii," the release reads.
> Read entire article at West Hawaii Today
> Related journal article (pdf)
Green turtle in Hawaii could lose status
Federal government considering downgrading protection
In August 2012, the NMFS initiated a year-long status review of
green turtles and has been soliciting scientific and commercial
information pertaining to this species and potential critical
habitat from any interested party. Hawaii Wildlife Fund submitted
testimony in Hawaiian Legislative session, asking the government to
protect marine resources.
"While we have seen a
significant increase in green turtles in Hawaiian waters and on our beaches, all threats must be considered before a species can be delisted,"
said HWF President Hannah Bernard. Through its
Project, HWF is actively engaged in assisting in the
recovery of this species, both in water and on land,
and will continue to be involved in management of their welfare whether or not they are delisted.
"The consequences of the proposed delisting encompass
multi-faceted cultural, scientific, emotional and sociological
levels and should be approached with an open mind and respect for
everyone involved," said HWF's Vice President
"My perspective comes from researching and protecting sea turtles
since 1996 and conducting my Master's thesis on Kaho'olawe's sea turtle population. The goal of all management
actions should be to perpetuate the species so they can continue to
fulfill their important ecological role and for future generations
to experience," she added.
Background: A petition was filed with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
in July 2012, requesting
that the Hawaiian population of the green turtle be considered a
Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and that it be delisted under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA). The green turtle was listed under the ESA
in 1978 as
"threatened," which means it is likely to become endangered within the
foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its
> Read NOAA Notice Document
Report hooked Hawaiian monk seals
Maui TV News 'talks story' about efforts to help seals
May 8, 2013 - Maui TV News
Maui TV News video on recent efforts
to help Hawaiian monk seals.
Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Group Hotline: 888-256-9840
Law & Order: Endangered Species Unit
Monk Seal killings could be retaliation to conservation efforts
May 12, 2013 - New York Times
Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo: Peter Bohler for The New York Times
Preserving Hawaii's False Killer Whales
Action is being taken to preserve a rare Hawaiian creature
September 2010 - Honolulu-Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine