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Kalaupapa National Historical Park Fish: So how are they doing?

August 21, 2012

Kalaupapa National Historical Park is located on the north shore of the island of Moloka’i in Hawaii. The park encompasses a wide variety of habitats from submerged marine resources to lowland coastal, mesic, and rainforest habitats as well as three offshore islands. The marine boundary of the park extends a quarter mile offshore around the park shoreline and encompasses approximately 2,000 acres.

The objective of the marine fish monitoring protocol is to annually determine the density and size of reef fishes along both random and fixed sites at a depth of 10 to 20 meters. A total of 30 transects (sites) are sampled each year. The 15 fixed transects were originally surveyed in 2006, and are resurveyed every year. The remaining 15 temporary transects are randomly selected each year and surveyed only in that year. Data collection consists of visual counts, species identification, and size estimations of all fish encountered within the thirty 25 x 5 meter belt transects. Scientific divers conduct this non-destructive survey technique and focus on the day-active fish species that are highly visible due to their typically bright coloration and generally large size. This report includes the status of the fish populations at all 30 transects in 2010, and trends along the 15 fixed transects from 2006-2010.

Take a look at what’s swimming near Kalaupapa below. Or  download the full report.

Fish Survey

Results of the 2010 fish survey at Kalaupapa National Historical Park

4 Comments leave one →
  1. paddlemedaily permalink
    August 21, 2012 10:58 am

    The full report link does not work in the article.

    • islanderparkscience permalink
      August 21, 2012 12:16 pm

      I was afraid that might be the case. It may not work on a Mac. Try it on a PC if you can. Otherwise, email your request to me at and can send it to you.

  2. Stephen Melinger permalink
    August 23, 2012 4:30 am

    I would be interested to know how the count can be monitored so the fish are not recounted mistakenly as they swim and return to the monitor. Is it possible to mark them or label them as is done with land animal counts.

    • islanderparkscience permalink
      August 23, 2012 3:46 pm

      That is a good question, Stephen. We count as we move along a transect underwater. We do not stay in one place to monitor. And although it is possible to recount a fish, we consider that possibility when we calculate our margin of error through a statistical method that has been well tested. This is intended to be a non-intrusive survey, so we don’t catch or mark the fish in any way.

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