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Protection and Restoration of Resources

This theme‘s research includes development of technology, research tools, and scientific approaches to effective protection and restoration of living marine resources, habitats, and ecosystems. The research will enable improvements in identifying, observing, forecasting, and monitoring components of ecosystems, including those in protected areas, and restoring habitats and populations to healthy, productive states consistent with societal goals for marine resource conservation and ecosystem services. Research under this theme involves a wide range of activities such as removal of contaminants and marine debris, and providing new materials and techniques for protection of underwater cultural resources in the Pacific Islands region.

Cetacean Research Program

The CIMAR Cetacean Research Program (CRP) project is charged with assessing the status of cetacean stocks within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). At least thirty-four cetacean stocks occur in the Hawaiian EEZ alone, and many more exist in the other Pacific Island Region (PIR) EEZs, though most are largely unstudied. Assessment of cetacean stocks includes conducting inventories of species within each PIR EEZ, followed by evaluation of the structure of the stocks within each EEZ, the population status of each stock, and evaluation and mitigation of human impacts on cetacean stocks.

Read more in the Annual Reports.
Scientist observing a whale
Two seals looking at eachother

Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program

The CIMAR Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program conducts research on the Hawaiian monk seal, the most endangered marine mammal occurring entirely within U.S. jurisdiction. There are approximately 1,400 monk seals remaining, the majority of which occur at the six highly studied sites in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands where the population is estimated to have declined by two thirds since the late 1950s. However, the population growth rate has been approximately 2% per year since 2013. The program conducts research designed to promote sound conservation and management of the species by characterizing natural and anthropogenic factors that may impede population recovery. CIMAR staff develop, test, and implement tools to assist in recovering the species.

Read more in the Annual Reports.

Marine Turtle Recovery in the Pacific Islands

The research conducted by the PIFSC Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program includes nine discrete elements, which are mirrored in this CIMAR project: 1) research to reduce highseas and coastal fishery by-catch of sea turtles; 2) research on the general biology, life history and ecology of sea turtles; 3) monitoring of sea turtle population trends; 4) simulation modeling of long term sea turtle datasets to better understand population dynamics; 5) assist with health assessments and disease investigations; 6) administration of a sea turtle stranding and salvage network for live turtle rehabilitation; 7) educational outreach to the public; 8) storage and management of sea turtle research data; and 9) training observers to conduct the collection of sea turtle data aboard commercial longline fishing vessels. Read more in the Annual Reports.
Worker holding a grumpy-looking sea turtle