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Researchers conducting cetacean forage survey off Kona Coast


Researchers aboard the NOAA ship Oscar Elton Sette are conducting a cetacean forage survey in the waters around the Kona Integrated Ecosystem Assessment region off the Big Island’s western coast, according to the NOAA Pacific Islands Science Center’s blog.

The ship is a research base for a team of scientists from the science center who are working in collaboration with colleagues from the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, UH-Manoa’s Department of Oceanography and Marine Biology Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the NOAA Teacher at Sea program.

This research expedition began March 17, when the ship departed Ford Island, Pear Harbor, and is scheduled to take 12 days.

The goal is “to better under the dynamic of this unique ecosystem” via oceanographic and active acoustic surveys. The team will also be investigating a deep nearshore hotspot for forgaging by cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and connections to the large cephalopods (octopus and squid) known to inhabit this region.

To learn more about this research expedition, go to pifscblog.wordpress.com.