Hawai‘i Nei Marine Debris Removal Partnership

Pile of derelict fishing gear on a beach.

Over a course of three years, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua‘i Chapter (SFK) and Pūlama Lānaʻi, will remove derelict fishing gear and medium- to large-scale marine debris items from along impacted coastlines of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Lānaʻi.

Type of Project: Marine Debris Community-Based Removal Grant

Region: Pacific Islands 

Project Dates: October 2018 - September 2021

Who is involved?
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua‘i Chapter and Pūlama Lānaʻi, will be removing derelict fishing gear and medium- to large-scale marine debris from impacted coastlines on Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Lānaʻi. These efforts are supported by a NOAA Marine Debris Program Community-based Marine Debris 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. Derelict fishing gear (nets, ropes, lines, hard plastic floats, buoys, and more) and the threat they pose to native wildlife and habitats is of particular concern. Hawaiian monk seals, hawksbill sea turtles, humpback whales, false killer whales, threatened green sea turtles, Pacific bottlenose and spinner dolphins have all been negatively impacted by marine debris in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua‘i Chapter and Pūlama Lānaʻi, is undertaking a three-year project to remove derelict fishing gear and medium- to large-scale marine debris from impacted coastlines on Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Lānaʻi.

These organizations are utilizing two primary techniques to detect and remove derelict fishing gear and medium- to large-scale marine debris. This includes derelict fishing net/ large debris recovery workdays, also known as “net patrol” and quarterly community-based coastal cleanup events geared towards education, outreach, and local prevention efforts. Partners anticipate the removal of at least 75 metric tons of marine debris cleared from over 200 miles of coastlines across four islands. Additionally, they anticipate 1,000 volunteer workdays (participant counts) with over 7,000 volunteer hours accumulated over the course of the project.