Hawai'i Coral Reef Network


Kealakekua Bay, Hawai'i 


Recent research conducted jointly by the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the Department of Aquatic Resources (UH-DAR) has focused on the effects of heavy sport diving on reef health. Two 50 m transects, one located in front of the monument and the other near where the tour boats anchor, serve as potentially threatened reefs. Two 50 m transects located 100 m south of the main diving area serve as control reefs.

Leon Hallacher (UHH) & John Kahiapo (DAR) set up transect

The main hypothesis to be tested is that reefs dived less frequently will exhibit greater coral cover and less signs of coral damage than reefs subject to intense sport diving (or non-consumptive use). Sampling methods include 18 photoquadrants of coral and seaweed cover on each transect and 10 quadrants on each transect for solitary macroinvertebrates. Each of the four survey areas are sampled twice a year, with control and treatment pairs being surveyed on the same day or on successive days.

Photoquadrat from UH-DAR study





Last update: 1/25/2005