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 coordinating the removal of a derelict fishing vessel from the lagoonal reef on the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Type of Project: Removal and Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund

Region: Pacific Islands

Project Dates: August 2017 - December 2021

Who is involved?
With support from a NOAA Marine Debris Program removal grant and the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund, a partnership between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Pacific Coastal Research & Planning (PCRP) is partnering with the Commonwealth Ports Authority, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, to coordinate the removal of the grounded derelict fishing vessel, Lady Carolina. PCRP will also conduct outreach to spread awareness of the marine debris issue and proper storm preparation.

What is the project and why is it important?
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning is coordinating the removal of the fishing vessel 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. It was further damaged and degraded during Typhoon Yutu in October 2018. 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 Lady Carolina, are a significant problem throughout the Pacific. To keep the general public and other vessel owners informed of removal activities, this project will share project information through the media before, during, and after the removal of the Lady Carolina. This communication will 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.

For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.