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Destination Reefs: Northwest Hawaiian Islands and Gulf of Mexico

By Leonard Ho - Posted Apr 15, 2012 08:00 AM
We know this is an odd pairing, but we have a good explanation. NOAA just released 12 minutes of raw "B-roll" footage from coral reefs of Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico and Papahanaumokuakea, Hawaii. The footage is too good to pass up.
Destination Reefs: Northwest Hawaiian Islands and Gulf of Mexico

Seascape from the Flower Garden Banks

The first half of NOAA's video showcases the Flower Garden Banks, a U.S. National Marine Sanctuary in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico south of Sabine Pass, Texas.  These protected waters harbor many species of reef fish, stoney corals, and gorgonians and sea whips.  The video includes nighttime footage of closed brain coral spawning (2:30).

The second half of the video (6:00) takes us to Hawaii.  The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (try saying that 3 times) is a remote World Heritage region in Northwest Hawaii to Midway Atoll.  It is the largest marine reserve in the United States encompassing 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) and home to over 7,000 species, over 1,700 of which are endemic only to these waters.  Some of the rarest and most expensive marine angelfish are found here: Masked Angelfish (Genicanthus personatus), Japanese Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge interruptus), and Bandit Angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus).  In fact, a beautiful and inquisitive male Masked Angelfish makes a cameo at 6:58.

The Destination Reefs video series showcases the diversity of coral reefs around the world.  Through these high quality videos, Advanced Aquarist hopes we can all gain a greater appreciation of reef life beyond our glass boxes.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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