NOAA symposium converges top level science, management

KAILUA-KONA — There exists a multitude of threats, concerns and initiatives involving West Hawaii’s marine ecosystem, and an NOAA-sponsored symposium coming to Kailua-Kona this week will touch on pretty much all of them.

“Bridging the Gap Between Science and Management” will bring together the scientific and analytical expertise of organizations like NOAA and the decision making power of local managers as a part of the West Hawaii Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Project — an NOAA-funded program intended to support management decisions in the area through science and research.


The symposium will run Tuesday-Wednesday at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, convening at 8:15 a.m. each morning and winding down in the late afternoon both days.

An information booth session will also be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The two-day symposium is free to the public and will be the third of its kind.

NOAA also hosted the event in 2011 and 2014.

“This year, we have some of the leading experts doing research or collecting information in West Hawaii who will be there presenting, which is great,” said Jamison Gove, NOAA research oceanographer.

“The focus of research is quite broad in terms of the different disciplines, but it’s all related to West Hawaii.”

Presentations will include topics like coral reefs, climate change, commercial and non-commercial fishing practices and sewage pollution, among several others.

In-depth examination will segment West Hawaii waters and specify the challenges facing each unique region.

“Even within West Hawaii, there seems to be large differences in the total number of stressors and sort of the level of each stressor depending on where you’re at on the coast,” Gove said.


“The theme is bridging the gap between science and management,” he continued.

“(We’ll define) our current understanding of the ecosystem so we can make prudent and robust management decisions for sustainable resource use.”