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Incorporating Hawaiian Deep-Sea Coral Records into the National Geodatabase

Project Goal

To incorporate observations of deep-sea corals from the video archives of the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) into NOAA’s National Deep-Sea Coral Geodatabase.

Geographic Location



HURL has conducted submersible and ROV dives throughout the Hawaiian archipelago and to a lesser extent in the Line Islands and American Samoa since 1981, developing a unique archive of video images of deep-sea fauna.  NOAA’s support will allow HURL’s biologist to begin to review HURL’s deep-sea coral records,  focusing first on gorgonians, antipatharians, and scleractinians, correct and update taxonomic identifications, and format these records for the National Geodatabase.

Importance to Management

The HURL video archive represents the primary source of information for deep-sea corals in the U.S. Pacific Islands.  Incorporating these records into the National Geodatabase will set the stage for the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program’s planned field research in the Region in 2015-2017.  It will also provide a the only significant source of information on seamount deep-sea corals in the Central North Pacific, with the potential of informing both the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Precious Coral Fishery Management Plan as well as identification of potentially vulnerable marine ecosystems outside the U.S. EEZ.



Fiscal Year 2012 Funding


Point of Contact

Thomas Hourigan, Tom.Hourigan@noaa.gov