Hawaii scientists explore PapahanaumokuakeaUPDATED 10:16 PM HST Jun 21, 2013Video Transcript
underwater world. A team of Hawaii scientists spent a month exploring the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. And as KITV4's Cam Tran shows us, what they found is truly breathtaking. Diving deep into the Northwestern Hawaiian Island waters - Hawaii divers encounter a serene, pristine underwater universe. RANDY KOSAKI, Papahanaumoku akea Deputy Superintendent IN: 2:50 THESE REGIONS ARE COMPLETELY UNEXPLORED, WE DON'T' HAVE GOOD MAPS OF THESE AREAS, WE HAVE BETTER MAPS OF THE MOON THAN THE OCEAN FLOOR EVEN ON HAWAII With this new closed circuit rebreather diving gear, a team of scientists were able to explore a new depth of sea-life and coral in the Papahanaumoku akea Marine National Monument. RANDY IN: 1:34 MOST OF THE RESEARCH ON CORAL REEFS HAVE BEEN DONE AT COMFORTABLE SCUBA DEPTHS LIKE 20-80 FEET YET CORAL REEF HABITATS GO DOWN PAST 300 FEET IN: 1:40 ALL OF THE CORAL REEF RESEARCH BEEN DONE TODAY IS IN THE SHALLOWER 1/3 OF THE HABITAT During their month long expedition, divers discovered giant moray peeking out of the rocks, a rare Rainbow Angelfish swimming in deep waters and large school of ulua dominating the ocean. Scientists recorded 40 different types of fish never seen before in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll. RANDY IN: 5:03 IT'S BIODIVERSITY THAT WE HAVEN'T DOCUMENTED, A LOT OF THESE CORAL REEFS SYSTEMS, ESPECIALLY DEEPER ONES ARE UNDER THREAT DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND SEA WATER SALITIFICATIATION, SO ESSENTIALLY WE STAND TO LOSE SOME OF THIS BIODIVERSITY BEFORE EVEN KNOW THAT IT EXISITS. And researchers believe some of the fish and algae could be a completely new species all together. However researchers need six months to thoroughly verify any finds. And the exciting part, they say this is just the beginning. Randy 7:58 IN THE NW HAWAIIAN ISLANDS THERE ARE TEN ISLAND REEFS AND ATOLLS SO IN:8:03 THERE ARE MANY MANY YEARS OF WORK AHEAD OF US TO FULLY CHARACTERISTIC THE DEEP REEFS Cam Tran, KITV4 News. During their expedition, divers also made another unique discovery. They found a whaling boat shipwrecked off the coast of Johnston Atoll. We've got a slideshow set up on KITV dot com with pictures of all the new species.