Papahānaumokuākea Monitoring Inventory
The monitoring projects in the following inventory take place in or around the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument. Projects are conducted by either Sanctuary staff or by our partners. Summary information is presented for each. Use the "Click to for More Details" option to expand the information displayed.

For more information about the monitoring activities at Papahānaumokuākea National Monument, please click here, and review the Sanctuary Condition Report.

Contact the research coordinator at the Sanctuary for additional information.



Marine Debris Monitoring and Removal
Lead NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (Coral Reef Ecosystem Division)
Objective Remove and recycle derelict fishing gear from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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Method Snorkelers survey areas using tow-board methodology. Fishing nets are removed through diving or snorkeling and their locations are marked and mapped with GPS/GIS.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1996 - present Annual

Links http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/projects/removal_nwhi.html
http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/nwhiefforts.php
Partners City and County of Honolulu, Covanta Energy, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA Marine Debris Program, Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corporation, United States Coast Guard
Keyword(s) derelict fishing gear, marine debris

Human Impact Monitoring
Lead Dr. Robert Toonen (University of Hawaii), Dr. Kim Selkoe (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis)
Objective Assess the abundance and frequency of human usage on islands and atolls within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to determine impacts from anthropogenic threats.

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Method Habitat mapping and required permit reporting are used to assess human usage.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2007 - present Annual

Links http://www.Papahānaumokuākea.gov/research/map_mon
Partners Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Keyword(s) human impacts

Maritime Heritage Survey
Lead NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (Maritime Heritage Program)
Objective A systematic survey of maritime heritage sites in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument with a goal of locating and assessing all existing maritime heritage sites

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Method Combination of diver surveys, tow-board methodology, magnetometer and side scan sonar surveys, and opportunistic sightings.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2002 - present Annual

Links http://www.Papahānaumokuākea.gov/maritime/shipwrecks
Partners Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc., Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Flinders University, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, State Department of Land and Natural Resources, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division)
Keyword(s) maritime heritage

Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division)
Objective Survey the fish, coral, and benthic habitat of the shallow (< 30m) coral reef ecosystems of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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Method Diver observations including transect and stationary point count methodologies.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2000 - present Annual

Links http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/coral.php
Partners United States Fish and Wildlife Service, State Department of Land and Natural Resources
Keyword(s) coral, reef fish, benthic algae, non-coral invertebrates

Monk Seal Monitoring
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Protected Species Division)
Objective Assess Hawaiian monk seal populations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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Method Beach counts; measure and tag all weaned seal pups; resight previously tagged seals; count each seal subpopulation by individually identifying seals with tags, naturally occurring scars or markings, and applied bleach marks; document births, deaths, serious injuries, and entanglement in marine debris; conduct necropsies on dead seals; collect seal scats (feces) for dietary information habit analysis; and collect and remove any marine debris.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1980s - present Annual

Links http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/psd/mmrp/monkseals
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, United States Coast Guard
Keyword(s) monk seals

Green Sea Turtle Monitoring
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Protected Species Division)
Objective Assess green sea turtle populations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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Method Assess population trends by monitoring green sea turtle nesting beaches at French Frigate Shoals.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1980s - present Annual

Links http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/marine_turtle
Partners United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Keyword(s) sea turtles, population, nesting beaches

Seabird Monitoring
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center)
Objective Assess seabird populations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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Method Population surveys and nesting success surveys.

Status Duration Frequency
Active Information Not Available Annual

Links http://www.fws.gov/midway/
Partners United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Keyword(s) marine birds

Oceanographic Data Collection
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division)
Objective Oceanographic instrumentation deployed across the archipelago to collect temperature, current, wave, and tide parameters.

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Method Scuba divers deploy instruments ether moored or anchored at nearshore reefs.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2001 - present Annual (real-time)

Links http://crei.pifsc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) water temperature, currents, waves, tides

Lobster Monitoring
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Research and Monitoring Division)n
Objective Stock assessment surveys of spiny and slipper lobsters.

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Method Shipboard deep water trapping surveys at Necker Island and Maro Reef.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1980s - present Biennial

Links http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/fbsab/
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) spiny lobster, slipper lobster

Invasive Species Monitoring
Lead NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division)
Objective Survey and monitor anthropogenic transport mechanisms for marine alien species. Assess established populations of marine alien species in the Monument to develop additional monitoring strategies.

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Method Diver surveys are conducted to identify and monitor alien species present in the Monument, and assess method of transport into the sanctuary.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2005 - present Annual

Links http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/index.php
Partners Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service
Keyword(s) invasive species

Seawater Carbonate Chemistry Monitoring
Lead Hawaii Pacific University
Objective Assess seawater carbonate chemistry profiles for nearshore and offshore environments within the Monument.

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Method Data are obtained via nearshore-to-offshore transects of vertical CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) stations and water samples collected in the field. Carbonate chemistry analyses are conducted in the lab.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2009 - present Annual

Links http://www.Papahānaumokuākea.gov/news/
Partners Hawaii Pacific University
Keyword(s) water quality, carbonate chemistry

Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem Characterization and Monitoring
Lead Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Objective Survey the fish and benthic habitats of the deep (< 50m) coral reef ecosystems of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and monitor the spread of invasive species (octocoral Carijoa and red alga Hypnea)

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Method Technical (open-circuit trimix) diver observations including transect and photo quadrat methodologies.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2009 - present Annual

Links http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/sanctuaries/
Partners United States Fish and Wildlife Service, State Department of Land and Natural Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center)
Keyword(s) invasive species, corals, reef fish

Acoustic Monitoring
Lead Dr. Whitlow Au, Dr. Marc Lammers
Objective Monitor long-term trends in biological and anthropogenic activities within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument using passive acoustic methods.

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Method Eight ecological acoustic recorders have been deployed within the monument to monitor biological activity and detect human activities such as vessel traffic and explosives used in fishing.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2006 - present Continuous

Links http://www.Papahānaumokuākea.gov/research/
Partners Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Keyword(s) acoustic monitoring

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