Pearl and Hermes Atoll


Pearl and Hermes Atoll

[
NOAA bathymetric map.]

The Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Hawaiian: Holoikauaua), is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Named after two English whaleships, the "Pearl" and the "Hermes", that wrecked here in 1822, a few, small, sandy islands exist, contained within a lagoon and surrounded by a coral reef. These islands are devoid of vegetation, except for several species of grasses. The total land area of all its islets is convert|88.952|acre|ha|3|lk=on. The atoll had its greatest importance within the pearl trade. In 1927, Captain William Greig Anderson was fishing for tuna and in the process, discovered pearl beds within the lagoon. This opened up the first commercial activity within the atoll, but the pearl trade lasted for only a few years. The Hawaiian government elected to suspend all commercial activity and render the area as a bird sanctuary. In June 2006, George W. Bush declared the atoll and all other parts of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument.

The endangered Laysan Finch was introduced to the island to provide a back up population of the birds, should a hurricane, disease, rat introduction, or other disaster wipe out the population on the island of Laysan.

References

* [http://www.hawaiianatolls.org/about/pearlhermes.php Pearl and Hermes Atoll]
* [http://www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/episodes/kure/diaries/pearlandhermes.html Quick Facts on the Pearl and Hermes Atoll from the PBS Ocean Adventures site]
* [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_P001&-tree_id=4001&-transpose=N&-redoLog=true&-all_geo_types=N&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981015&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981016&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981017&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981018&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981019&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981020&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981021&-geo_id=100$10000US150030114981022&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en&-show_geoid=Y Pearl and Hermes Atoll: Blocks 1015 thru 1022, Census Tract 114.98, Honolulu County, Hawaii] , United States Census Bureau.

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