Removal of a Derelict Fishing Vessel from the Saipan Lagoon
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning coordinated 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 was involved?
With support from a NOAA Marine Debris Program removal grant, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, 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) partnered 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 also conducted media outreach to spread awareness of the removal operations, and the importance of storm preparedness.
What was the project and why was it important?
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning coordinated the removal of the fishing vessel Lady Carolina, an 83-foot 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. The removal of the grounded vessel, which was 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, this effort has helped to provide the local community with closure to one of the more visible remaining impacts of Typhoon Soudelor.
What were the project results?
Beginning in May 2021 and ending in July 2021, removal crew members worked to cut the Lady Carolina wreck into smaller pieces that were then lifted by a crane onto a nearby transport vessel. The removal activity was conducted by Smithbridge Guam with support from Tano Group, Inc and Deep Blue LLC. Johnston Applied Marine Sciences (JAMS) and Koa Consulting provided environmental monitoring and compliance support to the project. The pieces were then transported to Saipan, where Deep Blue LLC secured the pieces and took them to their construction yard for further breakdown, processing, and disposal. The successful removal of the Lady Carolina resulted in 80 metric tons of metal scrap removed, 864 cubic feet of common waste (wood, plastic, etc.), and 980 cubic feet of other waste (rigid foam insulation). Additionally, the Smithbridge-Tano crew recovered approximately 650 gallons of fuel and hazardous liquid materials. A story map detailing the progression of this massive removal undertaking can be viewed here. To keep the general public and other vessel owners informed of removal activities, PCRP shared project information through the media before and after the removal of the Lady Carolina.
For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.