Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fifty metric tons of marine debris from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Date:
July 20, 2012
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette arrived back in its homeport of Honolulu a few days ago after a month in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team of 17 scientists collected nearly 50 metric tons of marine debris, which threatens monk seals, sea turtles and other marine life in the coral reef ecosystem, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).

NOAA divers cut a Hawaiian green sea turtle free from a derelict fishing net during a recent mission to collect marine debris in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Credit: NOAA

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette arrived back in its homeport of Honolulu a few days ago after a month in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team of 17 scientists collected nearly 50 metric tons of marine debris, which threatens monk seals, sea turtles and other marine life in the coral reef ecosystem, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). NOAA has conducted annual removal missions of marine debris in the NWHI since 1996 as part of a coral restoration effort.

"What surprises us is that after many years of marine debris removal in Papahānaumokuākea and more than 700 metric tons of debris later, we are still collecting a significant amount of derelict fishing gear from the shallow coral reefs and shorelines," said Kyle Koyanagi, marine debris operations manager at NOAA Fisheries' Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and chief scientist for the mission. "The ship was at maximum capacity and we did not have any space for more debris."

Scientists load boats with marine debris collected at Midway Atoll in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. High resolution (Credit: NOAA) This year, marine debris was collected from waters and shorelines around northern most islands and atolls: Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Lisianski Island and Laysan Island. Approximately half of the debris was composed of derelict fishing gear and plastics from Midway Atoll's shallow coral reef environments, where the team also completed a 27-day land-based mission prior to loading debris on the 224-ft. NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette.

As part of this year's mission, the NOAA team did look for debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, however, no debris with an explicit connection to the tsunami was found. Scientists monitored marine debris for radiation in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Health out of abundance of caution and to gather baseline data from the NWHI.

"While we did not find debris with an obvious connection to last year's tsunami, this mission was a great opportunity to leverage activities that had already been planned and see what we might find," said Carey Morishige, Pacific Islands regional coordinator for NOAA's Marine Debris Program. "It's also an important reminder that marine debris is an everyday problem, especially here in the Pacific."

NOAA divers cut a Hawaiian green sea turtle free from a derelict fishing net during a recent mission to collect marine debris in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. High resolution (Credit: NOAA) A portion of the funding for this year's marine debris removal activities was provided as part of the legal settlement collected by NOAA's Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program from a July 2005 ship grounding at Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Monument. Additional support was provided by NOAA's Marine Debris Program, NOAA Fisheries' Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, as well as other partners including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Hawaii, U.S. Coast Guard, Schnitzer Steel, and Covanta Energy.

Marine debris removed during this project will be used to create electricity through Hawaii's Nets to Energy Program, a public-private partnership. Since 2002, more than 730 metric tons of derelict nets have been used to create electricity -- enough to power nearly 350 Hawai'i homes for a year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Fifty metric tons of marine debris from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120720200730.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2012, July 20). Fifty metric tons of marine debris from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120720200730.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Fifty metric tons of marine debris from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120720200730.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins