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Making ‘Aha to Tag, Identify Corals Could Help Reduce Plastic in Ocean

'Aha, coconut husk fiber cordage, made by Jasmine Chang, is to tag and identify corals.

SOEST News, first published on October 2, 2023.

Making ‘aha (using coconut husk fibers to create a cord) to tag and identify corals is the focus of a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate student’s project to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into marine science and help keep plastic out of the ocean.

Jasmine Chang, a third-year student studying marine biology and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, also works as a lab technician in the Coral Resilience Lab. She is a recipient of the Carol Ann and Myron K. Hayashida HIMB Student Support Endowment as well as the Schmidt Ocean Institute Undergraduate Research Fund.

“I think that we should always be looking for sustainable alternatives,” said Chang. “And I feel like the reason that we do any studying out here, especially in the Coral Resilience Lab, is to further help and prevent the degradation of coral reefs. If anyone can find ways around supporting the mass production of things like single-use plastic that are horribly affecting our climate, then we should definitely take it.”

Read the full story on SOEST News!