Kingdom of Tonga – 2017

About the Tongan Expedition

Dates: May 27 – June 12, 2017

Lead Organizations: Waitt Institute

Collaborators: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Vava’u Environmental Protection Association, Government of Tonga, Department of Environment (MEIDECC), Ministry of Fisheries

Expedition Team

Karen Stone, PI, Vava’u Environmental Protection Agency
Kathryn Mengerink, Waitt Institute
Andy Estep, Waitt Institute
Penikoni, Department of Environment
Sioa, Ministry of Fisheries
Tavita, Ministry of Fisheries
Heather Kramp, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Lauren Parker, University of California, Santa Barbara
Clinton Edwards, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Nicole Pedersen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (USA)

Expedition Summary

The 100 Island Challenge team participated in an expedition to visit the Ha’apai and Vava’u island groups in the Kingdom of Tonga. They assisted with baseline surveys of these coral reefs. In total, 27 mosaics were collected in the Ha’apai and Vava’u island groups of Tonga in collaboration with the Waitt Institute and local partner, VEPA (Vava’u Environmental Protection Association). This expedition was a part of the Vava’u Ocean Initiative, which supports the development of Special Management Areas and Marine Protected Areas. In addition to collecting photomosaics, members of the Waitt Institute, Vava’u Environmental Protections Association (VEPA), the Department of the Environment, and the Ministry of Fisheries conducted surveys of the fish, invertebrate, and benthic communities.