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NURP Research Impacts Management of Hawaii’s Black Coral
This story entered on 28th Jun, 2005 05:12:28 AM PST

Last month, a science advisory group recommended a five year ban on harvesting Hawaii’s black coral, a species prized by the jewelry trade. The recommendation was based on research made possible by NURP funds awarded through the Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Led by Tony Montgomery of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, researchers utilized advanced diving techniques to conduct approximately 46 deep water dives in waters off the islands of Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. Data results, which indicated a decline in younger populations of the black coral, were presented to the Scientific and Statistical Committee, an advisory arm of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The data spurred the advisory group to recommend banning the harvest of black corals in both state and federal waters.

The proposed ban, which has elicited a debate over future management of the black coral fishery, received attention in the May 22 issue of the New York Times.

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Updated: August 29, 2005