Coral reef environments

Photos: James Watt

The extensive coral reefs found in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to over 7,000 marine species. These coral reef ecosystems are much more pristine than those of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Table coral, and many other corals in the genus Acropora, is much more common in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, especially at French Frigate Shoals, than in the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Coral can be adversely affected by marine debris. Nets and other fishing gear can become entangled around coral heads, damaging the reef ecosystem.