Removal of a Derelict Fishing Vessel from the Saipan Lagoon

A derelict vessel in the background while several people swim in a beautiful lagoon.

Pacific Coastal Research & Planning is teaming up with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to remove the derelict F/V Lady Carolina, a grounded vessel in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as leading community outreach and media events to spread awareness of the marine debris issue and proper storm preparation.

Type of Project: Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant

Region: Pacific Islands

Project Dates: August 2017 - July 2019

Who is involved?
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning, in partnership with the Commonwealth Ports Authority, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, and with the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant, is coordinating the removal of a derelict fishing vessel from the lagoonal reef in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

What is the project and why is it important?
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning is coordinating the removal of the F/V Lady Carolina, an 83-foot, 54-ton, steel-hulled fishing vessel that broke free of its mooring during the devastating passing of category 4 Typhoon Soudelor in August 2015. Removing the grounded vessel, which is located in the northeast corner of Saipan’s ship channel, prevents further environmental impacts to sensitive habitat, such as coral reefs, and endangered species. Additionally, removal of the vessel is providing the local community with closure to one of the more visible remaining impacts of Typhoon Soudelor.

Abandoned and derelict vessels, such as the F/V Lady Carolina, are a significant problem throughout the Pacific basin. To keep the general public and other vessel owners informed of removal activities, this project is conducting various community outreach and media events before, during, and after the removal of the Lady Carolina. These events are utilizing the opportunity to highlight the importance of proper storm preparation, issues of derelict fishing gear, impacts to the marine environment, and preventive solutions to locally-based, large-scale marine debris.