Hawaiian monk seal swimming offshore.
In partnership with NOAA and the Monk Seal Research Program, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (a partner in the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System) is now providing select tracks of information on monk seals in Hawaii. The new data set also includes information on sharks in addition to monk seals.
Users can plot monk seal locations, animate movement patterns, and explore how seal movement relates to their physical environment. This information is critical to better understanding the Hawaiian monk seal population, which is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. The species is listed as endangered and is one of the only two remaining monk seal species. The other is the Mediterranean monk seal, and a third monk seal species, the Caribbean monk seal, is extinct.
Researcher tagging a shark in waters off of Palau (Credit: University of Hawaii and Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System).
Additionally, an international team of researchers, conservationists, commercial dive operators, and government agencies have joined together to deploy and operate an array of acoustic receivers to collect data on shark movement near Palau for conservation and resource management by the government and local non-governmental organizations.
The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) is a federal, regional, and private-sector partnership working to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information. IOOS delivers the data and information needed to increase understanding of our oceans and coasts, so decision makers can take action to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment.