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You are here: /main/research expeditions/ 2005 RAMP/9_20_05 Maro Reef

9/20/05 - Maro Reef
by David Nichols, State of Hawaii, DLNR, HIHWNMS

Omilu sample
Chief scientist, Randy Kosaki collects a tissue sample from an Omilu.

We arrive at Maro Reef ahead of schedule and in time for the REA teams to get in a dive before dinner. The apex predator team has time to retrieve a receiver in the area and also do a little trolling. The team catches two large omilu and a couple of uku. They decide to insert an acoustic transmitter into one of the uku. These transmitters aren’t cheap (about $300 each) so the scientists are pretty selective in which fish are implanted.

Maro Reef is the largest coral reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with over 478,000 acres of reef area. This large size and its complex maze of linear reefs make it difficult for boats to navigate and scientists to study. Maro reef has a greater abundance and diversity of coral than most any other reef system in the NWHI chain. There are also plenty of sharks in the area. As we were being lowered to the water surface in the HI-2 there was one swimming nearby.

They claim that there is a rock somewhere that permanently sticks out of the water but I fail to see any evidence of any emergent land. We have a couple of days of work here at Maro. I am going to keep an eye out for that rock.

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