Scientists Return from 28-Day Expedition - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Scientists Return from 28-Day Expedition

Jon Swallow Jon Swallow
Carl Meyer Carl Meyer
John Yeh John Yeh

By Mary Simms

FORD ISLAND - (KHNL) Eighteen scientists are back from a 28-day research expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. 

During their trip, the scientists did up to 50 dives a day. Diving, measuring, and collecting research samples kept them very busy. This ship is specially equipped to navigate through the reef, but the group also used even small vessels on a daily basis.

"What we do is inherently dangerous as far as deploying boats in rough waters and having a large number of divers," said Ship Commander Jon Swallow. "We have specialized boats that we take them out in so they don't harm the reef, very easy, safe to operate."

Assistant researcher Carl Meyer studies predators, like sharks. Tagging them with transmitters allows him to track their movements.

"It's real important to understand the movements of sharks and fish for management. We need to know for instance if animals such as sharks are residents of individual islands and atolls to know whether they range much more extensively up and down the Hawaiian chain, said Meyer.

The scientist also used specialized cameras, taking photos as deep as 4000 meters below sea level.

"Well, it's really exciting because since the late 1800's there's really been no sampling out there. There has been some trawling efforts out there and that's really the only way you get an idea of what animals are in the deep sea, is to trawl, and it's really destructive, said graduate student John Yeh."

The three week cruise ended Sunday afternoon. The cruise was the first of three that will take place between now and October.

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