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Kosaki to offer Sea Talk

By Staff | Mar 23, 2017

MAALAEA – Maui Ocean Center’s next free Sea Talk will be held on Thursday, March 30, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Randall Kosaki will present “New Frontiers for Coral Research in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.”

Kosaki is a coral reef fish ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. His research is primarily focused on the remote reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, but it has taken him to numerous localities across the tropical Pacific.

At 582,578 square miles, the monument encompasses the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and is one of the largest marine protected areas on Earth. While most of the exploration and research in Papahanaumokuakea has focused on its shallow, sunlit coral reefs, a new frontier for exploration is found at depths beyond the realm of conventional SCUBA gear.

Using helium/oxygen/nitrogen gas mixes and closed-circuit re-breathers, scientists are now probing the mesophotic coral ecosystems (deep coral reefs) of the NWHI. This so-called “coral reef twilight zone” is yielding high levels of unique Hawaiian species, as well as species that are completely new to science.

Sea Talks are held in the Open Ocean Exhibit. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Reservations are recommended; call 270-7075.