Feature Stories Archive »


  • Green sea turtle resting on the beach.

    Men Fined for Capturing a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

    In October 2017, two visitors from the U.S. mainland sparked outrage when they posted a photo of themselves holding a Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu) on a Hawai‘i Island beach.

  • Two false killer whales swimming in the ocean.

    Video: False Killer Whales

    Despite their name, false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are not closely related to true killer whales (Orcinus orca), though their skull shapes are similar.

  • Close-up of West Hawaii Habitat Blueprint Focus Area via Google map

    Supporting Continued Coral Reef and Watershed Management in
    West Hawai‘i

    In July 2017, NOAA awarded $250,000 in funding to The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Hawai‘i to continue activities and efforts to manage coral reefs and watersheds in West Hawai‘i.

  • Close-up of Guam's Manell-Geus Habitat Blueprint Focus Area via Google map

    Improving Habitat Restoration and Conservation in Guam's Manell-Geus Habitat Focus Area

    The Pacific Islands Regional Office congratulates our partners at The Nature Conservancy, Micronesia Program for their recent award of $145,883 from the NOAA Office of Habitat Conservation for their project entitled "Building Community Capacity for the Habitat Restoration and Conservation in the Manell-Geus Habitat Focus Area."

  • Close-up of a bigeye tuna catch on ice and other tuna.

    Improving Fisheries Through an International Exchange of Ideas

    In the last week of June, 11 resource management delegates from the Philippines met with representatives from NOAA to share ideas and experiences on fisheries science, management, and enforcement. The weeklong event will lead to new partnerships and strengthened collaborations between the United States and the Philippines, and will help expand and improve international marine resource management.

  • Spinner dolphin leaping out of the water.

    Tour Operator Fined for Harassing Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins

    A judge fined a tour operator $2,500 for illegally harassing Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Natural resources officers with the State of Hawaiʻi investigated dolphin tour operator Casey Phillips Cho for harassing Hawaiian spinner dolphins, which is illegal under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Cho, the officers found, drove his boat in circles around a pod of spinner dolphins off the coast of Hawaiʻi Island.

  • A shark with six gill slits on each side its body on a vessel.

    Revealing the Unknowns of an Unusual Catch

    Last year, a NOAA Fisheries observer brought to port a strange deep-sea fish that turned out to be a bluntnose sixgill shark, which is rarely caught on longlines. Read our feature story to learn more about this abnormal catch, as well as the efforts of NOAA Fisheries and Waikīkī Aquarium scientists to better understand it.

  • NOAA and Their Partners Celebrate Year of the Monk Seal

    How Tiny Sea Urchins Are Saving Kāne‘ohe Bay

    It's around lunch time on a warm day in late November. Several staff members at the State of Hawai‘i's Ānuenue Fisheries Research Center at Sand Island on O‘ahu are gathered around a rectangular folding table, which has about half a dozen clear plastic deli cups lined up on it. Each cup is filled to the brim with a once-transparent liquid that's now clouded with a substance that one staffer describes as "pumpkin-colored" and another says looks like "mango sorbet."

  • NOAA and Their Partners Celebrate Year of the Monk Seal

    NOAA and Their Partners Celebrate Year of the Monk Seal

    According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2017 is the year of the Rooster. But for the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands, this year belongs to the Hawaiian monk seal, a NOAA Fisheries Species in the Spotlight.

  • Video: <i>He Lei No Ke Koholā Li‘ili‘i</i> — A Lei for the Little Whale

    Video: He Lei No Ke Koholā Li‘ili‘i — A Lei for the Little Whale

    NOAA Fisheries works with various partners — including Hawai‘i Pacific University, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, United States Coast Guard, City & County of Honolulu's Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, volunteers, and others — to promote marine species conservation and monitor nearshore situations involving protected resources, such as whale strandings. We also often work closely with cultural practitioners to make sure the upmost care and respect is taken when handling these beloved animals.

  • Video: The Heavenly Beauty, Uilani

    Video: The Heavenly Beauty, U‘ilani

    The NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office networks with various partners and stakeholders — including cultural practitioners, researchers, community members, and others — to promote marine species conservation.

  • Shallow Coral Reefs — Essential Fish Habitat of the Pacific Islands

    They buffer our shores from powerful waves, storms, and floods. They provide homes and shelter to numerous species of fish — including many that are an important part of subsistence, commercial, and recreational fishing — and supply surfers, boaters, snorkelers, divers, and fishers with bountiful leisure.

  • Update: Rehabilitated Seals Safely Return to the Wild

    On April 14, 2016, after nearly 7 months of rehabilitation at the Marine Mammal Center's Ke Kai Ola hospital on the Island of Hawai‘i, seven female Hawaiian monk seal juveniles embarked on a journey home.

  • The Cost of Saving Sea Turtles from Gillnets

    In small-scale fisheries around the world, gillnets are helping individual fishermen put food on the table day in and day out. But at the same time, this non-selective fishing gear is inadvertently catching — and at times killing — large numbers of unintended and unwanted animals, known as "bycatch."

  • How Underwater Cameras Can Help Conserve Hawai‘i's Deep 7 Bottomfish

    The 2015 hurricane season left a noticeable impression in the record books, thanks in large part to warm waters precipitated by strong El Niño conditions. In all, the Central Pacific region saw 15 storms between the middle of May and the end of November — four storms more than the previous record set in 1992 and 1994.

  • Success, 100 Meters Below | Part 2: A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

    Christopher Lindsay isn't your typical high school student in Hawai'i.

    At 16 years old, he has already been published in the scientific literature and has won numerous awards at science fairs, including a highly coveted internship with NOAA Fisheries.

  • Success, 100 Meters Below | Part 1: Journey to NOAA Fisheries

    "It worked!" he says quietly while walking into the laboratory with an ear-to-ear grin and his characteristic two-thumbs up. "It survived the test."

    It's late afternoon in October and we are in the dry laboratory of the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai — a white room with a perimeter of computer workstations and a large, chest-high table in the center for group meetings.

  • Spotlight on Monk Seals: Good news on monk seal population numbers and an effort to engage partners for seal conservation

    With 40 percent of its population foreign-born, City Heights, a large community nestled in San Diego, CA, is regarded as one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the United States.

  • Inspiring Underserved Students Through Fisheries Bycatch Research

    With 40 percent of its population foreign-born, City Heights, a large community nestled in San Diego, CA, is regarded as one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the United States.

  • Catching Fishermen's Attention with Barbless Circle Hooks

    In the summer of 2007, a Hawaiian monk seal got caught on a fishing hook off the coast of the Big Island of Hawai'i.

    The NOAA Fisheries Big Island monk seal response coordinator and his volunteers rushed out to aid the unfortunate animal, hoping to capture it and carefully remove the hook before the fishing gear could cause any serious damage.

  • Shucking the Limitations of Hawai‘i's Aquaculture Industry with Oysters

    After spending a month in the fishpond, recuperating and hanging out with tens of thousands of other oysters, the recycles will get a second chance to complete their life cycle — in the guts of hungry Hawai‘i residents and visitors.

  • NOAA Fisheries Scientists Test Unmanned Aerial Systems

    NOAA Fisheries scientists returned from conducting research using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

  • Updates From The Field: Monk Seal News From Across the Hawaiian Archipelago

    In September 2015, the Hawaiian monk seal research program (HMSRP) will be embarking on a research cruise aboard the NOAA research vessel Oscar Elton Sette for a 28-day project in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).

  • Monk Seal Mission: Upcoming cruise to the NWHI will save seals, test new technology, and recover research teams

    In September 2015, the Hawaiian monk seal research program (HMSRP) will be embarking on a research cruise aboard the NOAA research vessel Oscar Elton Sette for a 28-day project in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The mission will focus on saving seals, testing new surveying technology and bringing our summer field researchers home safely.

  • A dream and collaboration fully realized

    NOAA Fisheries and The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) have been longtime partners in Hawaiian monk seal conservation activities. TMMC has supported the rehabilitation and long-term care of numerous monk seals in the last decade.

  • NOAA Fisheries Kicks Off Hawaiian Monk Seal Vaccination Drill

    From July 15 through July 17, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP) of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center will be conducting a vaccination drill spanning Oahu and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Check out our series of Monk Seal of the Month stories ⟫