are here: /main/research
expeditions/ 2005 RAMP/9_18_05
David Nichols, State of Hawaii, DLNR, HIHWNMS
Carl Meyer of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
an abdominal incision on an ulua after having implanted an
During yesterday’s update I mentioned how it takes a
dedicated individual to perform research in the NWHI. As an
example I would like to introduce Kosta Stamoulis from the
State of Hawaii’s DLNR. During his first dive yesterday
Kosta placed his scuba regulator into his mouth and began
his descent. Moments later he felt the unmistakable pitter-patter
of centipede feet upon his tongue. Another moment later he
felt the unmistakable pain from one of Hawaii’s most
feared and evil creatures. I don’t know if centipedes
bite or sting but I do know they hurt like hell whichever
end they are using. If you have lived in Hawaii long enough
it has probably happened to you. The last time I was “hit”
by a centipede it was on the top of the foot and I wanted
to cry like a little baby. The pain persisted for what seemed
like days. It makes bee stings seem like mosquito bites.
sat there at the surface (his dive buddy had already descended
oblivious to the ordeal). He paused to make sure his tongue
wasn’t going to swell – or perhaps to make sure
he didn’t pass out from the pain I am sure he was enduring.
Having decided that his tongue would hurt weather he aborted
or continued, he hit the purge valve on his regulator to remove
any centipede siblings, offspring, mates or buddies, then
reinserted his mouthpiece and proceeded with his dive. The
dive went fine and the pain began to subside by dinnertime
when he was able to retell the story. Dedication!
Matt Craig of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
prepares to enter the water near La Pérouse Pinnacle
French Frigate Shoals.
is a member of the Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) Team.
Their purpose is to continue annual monitoring of the species
composition, abundance, percent cover, size distribution,
and general health of the fish, corals, other invertebrates,
and algae of the shallow water(<35 m) coral reef ecosystems
of the NWHI.
REA-based long-term monitoring will expand upon the baseline
assessments and monitoring conducted during fiscal years 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Long-term monitoring of the abundance
and distributions of reef fish, invertebrates, coral, and
algae will evaluate the status and trends of the health and
condition of these remote coral reef ecosystems and allow
Federal and State resource managers to better understand the
resources under their jurisdictions.
the teams were on the water early for our second of three
days at French Frigate Shoals (FFS). I again went with the
shark biologists (Carl Meyer and Yannis Papastamatiou) and
the fish biologists (Matthew Craig and lead scientist Randy
Kosaki). Today was spent redeploying the receivers that were
collected yesterday. Carl spent the previous evening downloading
the data that would indicate how frequently previously tagged
and released fish had been in the vicinity. We spent a portion
of the afternoon collecting (trolling) some large ulua and
uku and implanting acoustic transmitter tags prior to their
release. Now information is recorded every time one of the
fish passes near a receiver.
the apex predator work we were able to get in the water to
collect reef fish at several locations throughout FFS. This
was all possible due to the amazing boat handling skills of
the Hi'ialakai HI-2 Coxswain, Merlyn Gordon. Merlyn
was able to maneuver this 8-meter vessel through the maze
of coral heads flawlessly. At every dive we were always greeted
by large (and fearless) ulua. I am talking about the size
you see on the cover of Hawaii Fishing News. These guys are
big. It is pretty exciting to look one of these creatures
right in the eyeball as they swim by to check things out (or
steal your fish specimens).
this team plans to set out some short bottom longlines in
hopes of catching various species of sharks to implant acoustic
tags. It should make for another exciting day in this amazing
to Expedition main page