National Marine Fisheries Service

01/14/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/14/2021 13:34

Must-Read Pacific Islands Stories of 2020

Pacific Islands Top 10 Stories

In 2020, we brought you science and conservation stories covering a wide range of topics important to the Pacific Islands region. Here are the 10 stories that resonated the most with our readers and have been shared and liked many times over on social media.

Photo collage of different aspects of what NOAA is all about.
Cuvier's beaked whales spend time at the surface between long, deep foraging dives. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/Anne Simonis.

1. The Toll of Toxoplasmosis: Protozoal Disease Has Now Claimed the Lives of 12 Monk Seals and Left Another Fighting to Survive
It is becoming increasingly clear that Hawaiian monk seals are suffering from localized lethal outbreaks of toxoplasmosis, a lethal cat-borne disease..

2. NOAA Live! Pacific Islands Interactive Webinar Series
A series of youth-focused interactive webinars featured NOAA experts from the Pacific Islands region covering various science topics, such as bonefishes (ʻōʻio), tsunamis, and corals.

3. Beaked Whale Strandings in the Mariana Archipelago May Be Associated with Sonar
Researchers compared acoustic recordings and naval records with eight stranding events since 2007.

4. Little Relief in the Deep for Heat-Stressed Corals
New research shows satellite surface measurements have actually underestimated coral heat stress, but it also offers a glimpse of a silver lining that some refuges may exist.

5. Removing Fish From Fish Diet for Tastier, More Sustainable Aquaculture
NOAA-funded research shows that a diet of poultry meal and algae oil could be just as good for aquaculture fish as fishmeal and fish oil.

6. The Curious Case of a Shark and a Cephalopod
The Hawai'i Community Tagging Program recorded an amazing encounter.

7. Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Educational Posters Now Available Online
Marine science educational posters of colorful illustrations, species, and unique habitat are now available for educators, students, and the general public.

8. Hawaiʻi Scientists Bring Cutting-edge Analyses to the Stock Assessment of the Uku Snapper
Local fisheries harvest around 240,000 pounds of ukupalu snapper ('uku') every year- scientists assessed that the uku stock is not overfished, and overfishing is not occuring.

9. New Online Course Provides Guidance on How the On-Water Community Can Help Free Entangled Whales in Hawai'i Waters
The online course helps fishermen, tour boat operators, and whale researchers better assist trained responders disentangle large whales.

10. Hawaiian Monk Seal Population Saw Signs of Recovery in 2019
Latest update looks at the Hawaiian monk seal population, pups and juveniles, and threat mitigation from the 2019 field season, highlighting the need for continued conservation.

Most Watched Videos

Reporting Entangled Whales in Hawaiʻi

False Killer Whales in the Hawaiian Islands

Pacific Islands Top 10 Blog Posts

Punahele enters the ocean with her new satellite tag. Photo: NOAA Fisheries.
NOAA divers identify and measure coral colonies along a transect in Vatia's outer bay while American Samoa Department of Land and Natural Resources and National Marine Sanctuaries divers observe the survey methods. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/Morgan Winston.

View more Pacific Islands science blogs

ICYMI: 10 Recommended Noteworthy Stories

In case you missed it: for one reason or another, some feature stories don't gain as much traction online as others. Here is a collection of highly recommended stories that you may have missed but still deserve your attention.

The marine debris team removing a large derelict fishing net from the reef at Pearl and Hermes Atoll. The impact area of the net can be seen as a pale patch on the coral reef in the upper right corner of the image. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/Steven Gnam.
Green sea turtles and a Hawaiian monk seal at Mokumanamana in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/Brenda Becker.

For more Pacific Islands feature stories, dive into our Pacific Islands news page