Hawai‘i Large Debris Recovery Partnership
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and its partners will remove derelict fishing gear and other large marine debris from remote coastlines on the islands of Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island.
Type of Project: Removal
Region: Pacific Islands Region
Project Dates: October 2021 - September 2023
Who is involved?
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Chapter, will remove derelict fishing gear and other large marine debris from remote coastlines on Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island. These efforts are supported by a NOAA Marine Debris Program removal grant.
What is the project and why is it important?
The Hawaiian Archipelago receives a disproportionately high volume of marine debris along its shores, primarily due to its geographic location in the North Pacific. Derelict fishing gear (nets, ropes, lines, hard plastic floats, buoys, and more) from throughout the Pacific Ocean pose an entanglement threat to native wildlife and habitats of particular concern. Hawaiian monk seals, hawksbill sea turtles, humpback whales, false killer whales, threatened green sea turtles, and Pacific bottlenose and spinner dolphins have all been negatively impacted by marine debris in Hawai‘i.
These organizations are utilizing two primary techniques to detect and remove derelict fishing gear and large-scale marine debris. This includes derelict fishing net or large debris recovery workdays, also known as a “net patrol”, and quarterly community-based coastal cleanup events geared towards education, outreach, and local prevention efforts. In addition, partners will also manage derelict net drop-off stations and continue shoreline monitoring efforts utilizing the NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project protocols.
Partners anticipate the removal of at least 100 metric tons of marine debris from over 250 miles of coastlines across three islands. Additionally, they anticipate engaging over 100 community partners over the course of the project to keep these shorelines free of debris and minimize their impacts.
For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.