Alien Species in Hawaii

Alien Species in - ReefMadness behere. KawehiHaug January19,2005 By Kawehi Haug This isnt your ordinary invasion It doesnt come with military might

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Reef Madness Hawai‘i’s waters are home to a growing alien nation of species that just shouldn’t  be here. A new campaign aims to head them off at the pass. Kawehi Haug January 19, 2005 By Kawehi Haug This isn’t your ordinary invasion. It doesn’t come with military might or green-skinned pseudo humans with overgrown almond eyes. There is no aircraft with flashing lights landing in the yard to the supernal soundtrack of do-do-do-do. In fact, there’s almost no telling anything’s there at all. This invasion, although alien, is of an earthly nature, and is —as the most dangerous invasions are—stealthy and underhanded. Hawai‘i residents have long been under the false impression that the islands’ reefs are in good working order. But thanks to a devoted pack of scientists and researchers who spend their lives (cynicism be damned) discovering what’s wrong with the world, there is increasing evidence that proves all is not well. While folks fret over a coquí frog stampede and a Salvinia overgrowth that rivals the speed of sound, equally destructive forces are at work beneath the surface of the ocean—our ocean. According to the State of Hawai‘i Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan, which was drafted last year by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources, marine invaders—algae, invertebrates, fish and disease-causing organisms—are starting to choke the life out of Hawai‘i’s coral reef ecosystem. The bad news is, there isn’t much to be done about it. At least not yet. Despite scientists’ best efforts to draft a battle plan that would keep the invaders from staging an all out coup on the native Hawaiian coral reefs, it looks like they’ll be forced to surrender. The threats to the coral reef are out of control. More than 287 known alien marine species are in Hawai‘i, and the number continues to grow as invaders arrive on the hulls of large commercial ships, foreign fishing vessels and cruise ships. Alien algae are thriving, encroaching on the coral territories of native algal species that are struggling to stay alive. Algal pests dominate Kane‘ohe Bay and O‘ahu’s south shore, as well as the south shores of Maui, Moloka‘i and Kaua‘i. The orange keyhole sponge is smothering native coral species in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu Harbor, Wiliwili Harbor, Port Allen and Kane‘ohe Bay. Snowflake coral is killing native black coral, the foundation of a $30 million-a-year industry. Mangroves, pickleweed and alien mullet are overtaking and harming the restoration of native fish ponds on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i and Hawai‘i Island. And while Hawaiian reefs haven’t yet felt the damaging human impact that Western Atlantic reefs have suffered over the past couple of centuries, they are not immune to the threat. Steve Coles, a Bishop Museum research zoologist, has spent the last year studying the
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2011 for the course OCN 201 taught by Professor Decarlo,e during the Summer '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Alien Species in - ReefMadness behere. KawehiHaug January19,2005 By Kawehi Haug This isnt your ordinary invasion It doesnt come with military might

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