Deep Sea Dive on Battle of Midway Wreck IJN Kaga 加賀
During the Ala ʻAumoana Kai Uli (NA154) expedition, our Corps of Exploration completed a comprehensive survey of Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Kaga 加賀, the Japanese aircraft carrier sunk during the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Following dives on other Battle of Midway wrecks (USS Yorktown and IJN Akagi 赤城), the team explored Kaga in its final resting place within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM), the largest protected area in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. The dive was launched and closed with protocol ceremonies to honor this place and all who lost their lives in ways that reflected their significance to Kānaka ʻOiwi (Native Hawaiian), Japanese, and U.S. military families and communities.
These historic, noninvasive, visual survey dives were conducted during a 27-day NOAA-funded the E/V Nautilus expedition to explore never-before-seen deep-water habitats to collect baseline data needed to support management in the most remote and northwestern section of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM). PMNM is a UNESCO World Heritage site distinguished for both its cultural and natural significance, the only site with this special distinction in the U.S. It is currently being considered for national marine sanctuary designation to safeguard further its diverse natural, cultural, and maritime heritage resources for generations to come. Each dive on Battle of Midway cultural heritage sites was launched and closed with protocol ceremonies to honor this place and all who lost their lives in ways that reflected their significance to Kānaka ʻOiwi (Native Hawaiian), Japanese, and U.S. military families and communities.
The Battle of Midway surveys were made possible by the expertise, support, and collaboration of many partners including Ocean Exploration Trust, NOAA Ocean Exploration, NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, SEARCH, Inc., U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command, International Midway Memorial Foundation, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the State of Hawaiʻi, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, University of Hawaiʻi, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Air/Sea Heritage Foundation, and Japanese archaeological colleagues from Teikyo University, Tokai University, and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
Ocean Exploration Trust and partners will conduct a telepresence-enabled expedition to explore unseen deep-sea habitats aboard E/V Nautilus with ROV and seafloor mapping operations in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) focused on the largely unexplored northwestern section of the Monument.