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New species and new records of marine species discovered in NW Hawaiian Islands

sence of these common reef organisms may provide insight into how the unique flora and fauna of French Frigate Shoals came to be."

Over 50 different sites were surveyed throughout the atoll using a variety of ingenious collection methods including baited traps, brushing of rubble, underwater vacuuming with gentle suction, plankton tows, light traps, sediment and water sampling and many others. These methods were meticulously developed with consultation between scientists, management agencies, and the public over the course of a year, to minimize impact to the environment. "Because our work was conducted within the borders of the world's largest fully protected marine area, we have been extremely careful to follow protocols that would minimize any disturbance to this ecologically delicate region. It's hoped that our work will heighten public appreciation and awareness of this unique area and lead to a better understanding of how we manage such large and sensitive marine areas," said Dr. Martin. In all, more than 200 sampling events were conducted, producing more than 2,500 recorded collections.

The expedition was part of the international Census of Marine Life's Census of Coral Reef Ecosystems or CReefs and was led by NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, with funding from NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This expedition is the first in a series of proposed CReefs surveys led jointly by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Australian Institute of Marine Science, and NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Coral Reef Ecosystem Division to take place around the globe. The broader Census of Marine Life consists of 17 projects intended to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of ocean life and explain how it changes over time. Fourteen of these projects focus on different ocean realms, of which the CReefs project focuses on providing baseline information tha
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Contact: Megan Moews
megan.moews@noaa.gov
808-348-3738
Census of Marine Life
30-Oct-2006


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