Ocean Blog

Update: High bacteria count notification canceled for West Hawai‘i beach

Results of water sample retesting at Puako Middle of Lot on the Kohala Coast showed that enterococci levels no longer exceed the acceptable threshold.

Nearly 32 tons of marine debris removed from Kuaihelani, also known as Midway Atoll

The atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and part of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is home to more than 70 endangered Hawaiian monk seals and also serves as the nesting grounds for the world’s largest colony of mōlī, or Laysan Albatross, and nearly 2 million birds of 19 different species, including the world’s most endangered duck, the Laysan duck.

Update: High surf warning issued for Big Island’s south-facing shores, replacing earlier advisory

Warning-level surf of 11 to 15 feet is the result of a medium, long-period south swell expected to impact the entire state through Saturday morning.

Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response plans to open sea turtle ER, rehab center

Plans for the new care center have been in development for 5 years and got a kick start this year by being awarded a $13,200 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It should begin accepting patients this summer.

Rare sighting of Risso’s dolphins in Kona leave tour guides in awe

On Wednesday, Hawaiian Adventures Kona was about 10 miles offshore with 26 guests when Capt. Andrew Aggergaard and crew member Olivia Miller saw a pod of six Risso’s dolphins for the first time.

Researchers: Olympic tower construction could damage Tahiti reef ecosystem

A new study by researchers from the University of Hawai‘i and Arizona State University along with community partners in Tahiti found that just dredging the site would cause at least $1.3 million in damage to the live reef habitat.

Deaths of young dolphin, humpback calf highlight importance of responsible boating in Hawaiʻi waters

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is urging vessel operators to slow down and enjoy marine wildlife from afar.

Citizen scientists collect valuable data that help continue humpback whale conservation

On the last Saturday of January, February and March each year, during the peak of whale season in Hawaiʻi, hundreds of volunteers head to shorelines throughout the state, including the Big Island, to count and observe the marine mammals that migrated 3,000 miles to mate, calve and nurse their young.

NOAA invests $17 million to protect Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary visitor center

NOAA is investing $17 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to protect the visitor and community center of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary from the impacts of climate change, including upland flooding, powerful storms and sand inundation. The center is located along the shoreline of KIhei.

17-year-old from Kona dies while spearfishing

Four spear fishermen entered the ocean near the public beach access at Hokulia in Kailua-Kona at 1:30 p.m. on July 24, but three hours later when they exited the water one of the fishermen could not be found and was later located unresponsive on the ocean floor.

NOAA launches Hawaiian Islands survey of whales, dolphins and seabirds

The Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey is the only comprehensive study of its kind in the islands and takes place from July through December 2023.

Marine wildlife advocates, cultural practitioners urge closing of Kanaloa Octopus Farm in West Hawaiʻi

A coalition of native Hawaiian and marine wildlife advocates submitted complaints on Tuesday to two state agencies that urge the further investigation of “apparent violations of law” at the Kanaloa Octopus Farm in Kailua-Kona and the ending of its lease at a state-owned facility.

Big Island Now Poll No. 19: How should the state handle manta ray tours in West Hawai’i?

We want to hear from our readers about what you think the State Department of Land and Natural Resources should do to handle commercial manta ray tours in the future.

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary seeks advisory council applicants for 31 seats

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants to fill 16 primary and 15 alternate seats on its advisory council.

Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green enacts laws to protect beaches, shorelines, public land

New laws will provide resources for conservation, enact measures to assist with management and enforcement, and preserve the environment for future generations.

International scientists offer new approach for selecting coral species for reef restoration

An international team of scientists, led by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher, has created an innovative approach to selecting key coral species that will best maintain ecosystem functions critical for reef health.

University of Hawaiʻi researchers use drones to learn age-structure of dolphin groups

Using drone photography, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology are now able to determine the age-structure of free-ranging dolphin groups.

Update: Small craft advisory for parts of Big Island extended to Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Update: The National Weather Service has extended a small craft advisory until 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The forecast calls for east winds of 15 to 25 knots with seas of 5 to 8 feet.

New Hawaiʻi organization launches Fish Pono-Save Our Reefs

A local ʻohana of ocean-lovers, scientists, fishers and watermen and women have formed Fish Pono–Save Our Reefs, an organization with the vision of bringing awareness to the importance of replenishing herbivore fish populations to foster healthy coral  reefs. 

2023 Transpac begins first wave with 16 sailboats racing from California to Hawaiʻi

The 2023 Transpac competition from California to Oʻahu begins on Tuesday with the first wave of 16 sailboats crossing the starting line in the vicinity of Point Fermin in San Pedro.
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