Mālama Manō: Studying Hawaiʻi’s Sharks
For two weeks in September 2022, a team of scientists, conservationists, and educators part of Ocean Exploration Trust’s From Shore to the Abyss partnership with the National Geographic Society conducted research on sharks around Maui and the island of Hawaiʻi using low-impact and non-invasive research techniques. Led by Ariana Santos Agustines, team members aboard E/V Nautilus combined reef surveys, baited remote underwater system (BRUV) deployments, and environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis to add information to the global community’s knowledge of the diversity and abundance of shark species around the Hawaiian Islands.
On shore, Dr. Sara Khalid is continuing to lead more team members in the expansion of the SharkPulse artificial intelligence program contributing to a repository of shark images and continually training the algorithm for more accurate identification on a species level. In an effort to promote open science and integrate indigenous knowledge and research practices, this project has included creating multidisciplinary educational resources and outreach products that advance shark conservation by integrating traditional knowledge, scientific tools, and technology.
From Shore to the Abyss: Exploration of Marine Mammal Communication and Shark Communities in the Main Hawaiian Islands
In our first leg of the brand-new expedition series From Shore to the Abyss, we are teaming up with (and receiving funding from) the National Geographic Society to study shallow waters near Maui and Hawaiʻi island. Project teams on this leg will combine cutting-edge technologies with indigenous Hawaiian knowledge to increase knowledge and understanding of marine life. The work will focus on sharks and marine mammals—apex predators who are culturally significant to the Hawaiian people.
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.