28 Jun 2018

US ship arrives in American Samoa to monitor health of coral reefs

12:55 pm on 28 June 2018

The US scientific agency NOAA has brought a research ship to American Samoa as part of a study of the health of coral in the territories.

The NOAA's research ship, Hi'ialakai

The NOAA's research ship, Hi'ialakai Photo: NOAA

The Hi'ialakai arrived over the weekend to conduct the reef monitoring expedition across American Samoa, Hawai'i, Guam and the Northern Marianas.

The study is specifically looking at fish, coral and the influence of climate change on the ecosystem.

This research is conducted in local waters every three years,

NOAA scientist Bernard Vargas Angel said locals should not be alarmed when they see the ship and smaller unfamiliar boats and divers in their area.

"So the ship will be around the island and folks can expect to see four or five little, red, small boats. They will be going in different directions. We have divers that do the fish surveys.

"We have some divers that do the coral surveys as well as the surveys to collect water samples and other indicators, looking at the effects of climate change."