Removal of Large Concentrations of Marine Debris from the Unalaska Islands Vicinity, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Pacific Region; 2005
During December 2004, the M/V Selendang Ayu grounded on the west side of Unalaska Island releasing over 400,000 gallons of a heavy fuel oil, much of which made its way on to the island’s shorelines. Shoreline assessment teams were deployed to survey the oil content and character of the M/V Selendang Ayu incident during the months of April and May 2005. The teams also collected information on the location and description of significant concentrations of marine debris. Scientists on-site from NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) then developed criteria to prioritize the removal of the various marine debris concentrations and litter that is identified by the shoreline assessment teams.
The initial survey was completed and Magone Marine contracting company was chosen among applicants as the company for debris removal. The contractors, in addition to OR&R scientific support crew, were able to remove debris 4 out of the 5 proposed days due to weather and water conditions. Debris collected over the four days of the clean-up consisted mostly of derelict fishing gear (DFG): fishing nets, lines and floats. There were also some crab pots in the mix. The soft plastic floats that were collected were recycled by the contracting company that did the removal, to use as boat fenders. The total weight of debris collected was 6.52 tons (13,030 lbs).
Photos of the debris removal effort in the Unalaska Islands.
This program is funded through NOAA's Ocean Service, Office of Response & Restoration, Marine Debris Program.