From Shore To the Abyss: Exploration of Shark Communities and Microplastic Pollution in the Main Hawaiian Islands
In our second leg of the From Shore to the Abyss program, OET and National Geographic Society are exploring the waters of Maui and Hawaiʻi island while studying sharks and microplastic pollution investigating the intersection of humans and the ocean environment to inform policy and management of this ecosystem. The shark team will advance work from expedition one using BRUVs (baited remote underwater video systems), environmental DNA (eDNA), and an artificial intelligence image recognition tool to quantify shark and ray diversity and relative abundance. The microplastics team will conduct a robust microplastic sampling program and create a map of microplastic and anthropogenic microfiber pollution found in the surface waters and air surrounding the islands.
The From Shore to the Abyss Program expands Ocean Exploration Trust’s ocean exploration program from the deep sea into coastal ecosystems. OET is providing E/V Nautilus and our team’s expedition experience to contribute to new discoveries, focused on the conservation of coral reefs and the generation of new knowledge that can apply to global ocean conservation, education, and ocean exploration.
This expedition is funded by the National Geographic Society.