|Abstract or Summary
- In response to anthropogenic pressures that have degraded habitat and put
marine resources at risk (Leslie et al., 2003; Mumby et al., 2001; Puniwai et al., 2003),
there has been a growing interest in the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a
management tool to help slow, prevent or reverse negative anthropogenic changes.
Recent studies have shown that the most effective MPAs are those which represent a
full range of habitat types (Leslie et al., 2003; Carr et al., 2003). Yet, available
scientific research has not evaluated the near-shore marine habitat utilization along the
West Coast of Hawaii at the large-scales utilized by resource managers. Thus, this
study focused on identifying the regional habitat utilization patterns for selected
Hawaiian reef fish species to determine the most effective combination of habitat
types. In addition, the habitat utilization analysis was used as one of several case
studies to test the ArcGIS Marine Data Model’s (MDM) (Wright et al., 2001)
adaptability to work with real-world data and perform real-world analyses, as well as
meet the five goals outlined by the MDM Working Group (Wright et al., 2001).
Created in 2001, by researchers from Oregon State University, Duke University,
NOAA, the Danish Hydrologic Institute and ESRI, the MDM is a geodatabase
template tailored to meet the needs of the marine GIS user community. Ultimately,
this analysis will aid marine managers as it establishes correlations between small and
large-scale habitat information, which provides a regional look at habitat utilization.
Also, by testing the functionality of the MDM, its strengths and weaknesses will be
identified so that it can be improved to better serve the marine GIS user community.