Northwestern Hawaiian Island Project Researchers Identify Invasive Species in New Location
A recent collaboration between the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and National Marine Fisheries Service’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division identified an invasive species, bluestripe snapper (Lutjanus kasmira), native to the Marquesas Islands, in habitats that have never before been surveyed.
Data were collected from May 2-29 from the NOAA vessel Hi’ialakai using towed underwater cameras at French Frigate Shoals and Brooks Banks. The objectives of the mission were to survey benthic habitats for invasive species and evaluate sampling technologies and predictive mapping capabilities. NCCOS scientists are evaluating the data and will present the Monument a report of significant findings.
Unlike the main Hawaiian Islands, the Monument has relatively few invasive species, and managers would like to keep it that way. Information collected during the field mission will help develop invasive species survey plans and protocols.