Researchers in Hawaii take over the surveillance of invasive species information, sports activities, jobs
HONOLULU (AP) – A State Department has begun collecting special plates that are being held in several Hawaiian ports to track down potential invasive species.
Researchers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have begun collecting the plates in recent weeks, which the department said is anchored with cinder blocks in commercial ports across the state.
The department said the plates soak in the water and various types of organisms settle on them. Researchers then look at these organisms as part of an effort to discover possible invasive species that may have been carried on boats, Hawaii News Now reported.
The department said part of the work is to gain an understanding of all invasive species in ports and identify potentially newly introduced invasive species. Another piece is creating a DNA reference library that researchers say could accelerate efforts to detect alien species.
Signs have been posted in ports on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii.
The department has set itself the goal of recovering the plates by the end of 2022. However, Natalie Dunn, a water biologist with the department’s aquatic resources division, said some flexibility was required.
“It’s field work” Dunn said in a statement: “And we hope everything goes as planned, but it all depends entirely on the sea conditions. While the drop zones were recorded with GPS, the ocean doesn’t always cooperate. “
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