Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures

Sharks at Risk
The Gray Whale Obstacle Course
America's Underwater Treasures
Return to the Amazon
Sea Ghosts: Belugas
Call of the Killer Whale


Voyage to Kure: The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

<< Expedition Diaries | About the Islands

Kure Atoll

Satellite photo of Kure Atoll

Hawaiian name: Kanemiloha`i (brother of Pele, the Goddess of Fire.)

Named after a Russian navigator.

Early inhabitants were survivors of a series of shipwrecks in the early 1800s, stranded for up to nine months at a time. Survivors ate monk seals, turtles and seabirds to survive.

The land provides an important pupping and resting area for Hawaiian monk seals.

The world’s northernmost coral atoll at latitude N28.5°, and longitude W178°.

The coral reef is at what is known as the Darwin Point, which means that the ocean temperature is just warm enough to allow sufficient coral growth to keep pace with the natural subsidence of coral. Atolls must exist at or above the Darwin Point or they will sink below the surface, losing sunlight, and the coral will die.