Laysan and Midway-Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea National Monument

Laysans and Blackfoots off of Kure Atoll HI

Albatross, boobies and a rainbow

The recent events, the devastating earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami, have me thinking about the fragility of low lying islands, particularly those in Hawaii and the Central Pacific. Last fall I spent four and a half months on the NOAA RV McArthur II working for the South West Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla CA censusing seabirds and marine mammals in the US EEZ (200 miles) around the Hawaiian Islands.

In late November 2010 we passed by Laysan and Midway (unfortunately due to delays from storms we were unable to land on the latter). The albatross had recently arrived and were busy displaying, setting