Marianas Trench Marine National Monument

Establishment: In January 2009, the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (MTMNM) was established, by Presidential Proclamation 8335, encompassing three units: the Islands, Trench, and Volcanic units.

Size: The total Monument area consists of approximately 95,216 square miles of submerged lands and waters of the Mariana Archipelago.

Science: The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) observes, monitors, and coordinates research activities in MTMNM. The MTMNM Ecosystem Science Plan (in development) provides an overview of the existing scientific knowledge of the MTMNM. The plan provides a framework approach for research, monitoring, and exploration associated with the area. It develops a mechanism that fosters cross-disciplinary research, linking biological, physical, and human characteristics of the MTMNM. The MTMNM Ecosystem Science Plan aims to provide a framework for collecting "best available science" to support management of the MTMNM.

Recent Research

  • Bottomfish - In 2014, scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette Cruise (SE-14-04 Legs I and II) sailed to the Northern Mariana Islands and conducted bottomfish and reef fish bio-sampling in and around MTMNM with help from local CNMI and Guam scientists and fishermen. Click here to read more...
  • Cetaceans - In 2016, PIFSC Cetacean Research Program was on Saipan searching for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) Click here to read more...
  • The PIFSC Cetacean Research Program returned to Saipan in the Marianas during February-March 2015 to look for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Click here to read more...
  • Coral Reefs - In 2014, during research cruises at Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), scientists from the PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) and territorial partners conducted ecological surveys, collected water samples, and deployed monitoring instruments and platforms at Wake Island and in the Mariana Archipelago as part of the CREP-led Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (Pacific RAMP). Click here to read more...
  • Fisheries Oceanography - From June 11-27, 2015, scientists performed fisheries oceanographic research in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The scientists conducted trapping from NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette with lobster pots, minnow traps, and a BIG trap around most of the archipelago, to supplement the trapping survey being done by the small boat team. Click here to read more...

For more information on our research partners, please see: Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, Office of Atmospheric Research, NOAA.