Study to become highlighted in web seminar: Molokini thrives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – Maui Now



Surgeonfish school at Molokini. PC: Alan Friedlander.

Without any motorboats around at probably the most popular snorkeling sites in Hawaiʻi, Molokini thrived throughout the height from the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s exactly what a small group of researchers discovered throughout a year-lengthy study that began in April of 2020. Their findings will be provided throughout a free web seminar looking for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 28.&nbsp

Researchers active in the study will share their findings which compare Molokini throughout the pandemic versus. past and offer occasions. This presentation belongs to Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s monthly Know Your Sea Speaker Series, backed through the County of Maui. Registration is free of charge but is needed prior to the web seminar. Register here.

Molokini survey. PC: Alan Friedlander.

Molokini Marine Preserve is generally visited by roughly 1,000 vacationers every single day. During COVID-19 when tourism was turned off there weren’t any tour motorboats with no snorkelers at Molokini, researchers were built with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to know how human activity affects how wildlife uses the reserve.&nbsp

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“Many creatures fear so much humans, consider people visit Molokini every single day, we didn’t understand how they’d make use of the habitat when we were absent,” stated Kevin Weng, Affiliate Professor in the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “COVID caused a ‘natural experiment’ that dramatically reduced human presence, allowing us to determine wildlife inside a more pristine system.”

“Tourism at Molokini provides advantages to the neighborhood economy and provides people an affection for which a proper marine ecosystem appears like,” stated Alan Friedlander, Chief Researcher for that National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas program. “What is required may be the right balance of tourism at Molokini to ensure that both people and wildlife take advantage of this exceptional place.”&nbsp

The research was thanks to greater than 55 contributors who with each other contributed cash, lodging, airfare, boat use and vehicles for that four researchers focusing on the work. In most, greater than $3,500 was elevated via a fundraiser effort brought by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, along with the worth of the in-kind contributions.&nbsp

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Brought by Maui resident Russell Sparks, Marine Biologist, Department of Land and Natural Sources, Division of Marine Sources on Maui, a little group of scientists with knowledge of barrier reef ecosystem and animal movement studies in the islands studied the ecosystem at Molokini for any little more than a twelve month. The research ran from a time period of the COVID-19 pandemic shut lower in April 2020, to a time period of moderate activity resumption in November 2020 and right into a full return of tourism in May of 2021.

They incorporated Alan Friedlander, Chief Researcher, Pristine Seas, National Geographic Society, along with a investigator in the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology. Friedlander has studied Molokini extensively for pretty much 2 decades and it is the co-author of 5 research publications on Molokini conducted together with the Maui Division of Marine Sources. Other people include Kevin Weng, Affiliate Professor in the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Whitney Goodell, National Geographic Fellow and marine ecologist using the Fisheries Ecosystem Research Lab, College of Hawaiʻi, and Laura Gajdzik, researcher in the Division of Marine Sources.

“Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is humbled to possess tried supporting this excellent study,” stated Meredith Beeson, Project and Research Coordinator at MNMRC. “We’re excited at the opportunity to share the attention-opening findings using the public.”

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