Scientists name newly discovered species of limu after island conservation leader
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientists from around the globe have named a new species of limu found in the Northwestern Hawaiian islands.
Researchers said the algae was discovered after diving nearly 300 feet.
It’s named after pioneering conservationist Laura Kalaukapu Thompson. She died two years ago at the age of 95.
Thompson is also the mother of master Hokulea navigator Nainoa Thompson.
She was instrumental in establishing the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, where the red algae was discovered.
Thompson was an advocate for protecting all of the natural and cultural resources of Hawaii.
So scientists named the algae “Croisettea kalaukapuae.”
“What a joy and honor to name a new species after a beloved kupuna who made strides for the community to arrive in the present, celebrating 2022 as the Year of the Limu,” said University of Hawai’i Ph.D. candidate and lead author Feresa Corazon P. Cabrera.
NOAA research ecologist Dr. Randy Kosaki, who first discovered the new species recalled the 280 foot dive as “one of the darkest and coldest dives I’ve ever been on, with California-like water temperatures in the high 50s.”
“Given all of Aunty Laura’s contributions to the protection of Papahanaumokuakea, it seems especially fitting that a rare species from these kupuna islands will now carry her name in perpetuity.”
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