HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Jolanie Martinez
Scientists have returned from a 25-day research expedition of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to learn more about deep coral reefs and to research devastating coral bleaching near the islands in 2014.
Scientists arrived on Wednesday with news species of male Hawaiian pigfish, algae and new information on coral mortality.
"It's actually kind of surprising to find new species of fishes, but we actually did collect specimens of two or three potential new species," said Randy Kosaki, Chief Assistant of the expedition. "But then again it kind of speaks to the fact that these deep coral reefs are very poorly explored and that there is a lot that is yet to discover."
With special scuba gear, the crew managed to find coral as deep as 350 feet beneath the sea.
The scientists also used 3-dimensional images to better understand the structure and complexity of coral reefs.
All specimens will be given to experts for further research and will eventually be kept at the Bishop Museum for future marine conservation references.