Posts tagged with

Pacific Islands

Hawaiian Monk Seals Face the Threat of Derelict Fishing Gear

Posted Wed, 03/20/2024 - 13:15

Hawaiian monk seals face many threats caused by humans, including food limitation and habitat loss. However, one of their most significant threats is marine debris. Hawaiian monk seals are observed stuck in nets and fishing gear more than almost any other pinniped (seal, sea lion, or walrus) species. Seals can be entangled in all types of derelict fishing gear, including nets, lines, and hooks from non-commercial and commercial fishing. Entanglement can make it difficult for seals to breathe, hunt for food, and escape from predators, potentially leading to injury or death. Entanglement is seen more frequently in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Removing Typhoon Debris From Land and Sea in the CNMI Shanelle.Naone Thu, 02/16/2023 - 11:00

More than four years after the destructive forces of Typhoon Yutu ripped through Tinian and Saipan, its remnants continue to degrade natural habitats and attractions that jeopardize tourism and economic growth in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The Mariana Islands Nature Alliance and its partners are continuing marine debris removal activities and marine habitat restoration in the waters and surrounding coastal areas of Tinian Harbor, northern coastal areas, and along Saipan’s southern shallow waters and coastlines.

Meeting the Marine Debris Problem with Perseverance in the Pacific

Posted Wed, 02/01/2023 - 11:00

Marine debris of all types continue to be a problem for island communities across the Pacific. Derelict fishing gear entangles important wildlife and damages coral reefs. Despite the marine debris problem in the Pacific, dedicated organizations and ocean stewards are working on projects to remove derelict fishing gear, clean up typhoon debris, offer alternatives to commonly used single-use plastic items, and much more. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to support these partners and projects throughout the Pacific Islands region.

From Ridge to Reef: Protecting Guam’s Marine Life Through Student Efforts Shanelle.Naone Wed, 09/21/2022 - 11:00

With its crystal clear waters and rich coral reefs, Guam is undoubtedly a hidden paradise in the Pacific ocean. It is home to five protected marine preserves teeming with aquatic animals and plants. Everything on the island is connected, from the mountain ridges to the lively reefs, meaning that even the tiniest actions can offset the entire ecosystem. The Ocean Guardian School project at Simon A. Sanchez High School worked together with five other schools across the island to minimize impacts on the ecosystem and reduce potential sources of marine debris.

Clearing the Lady Carolina from Saipan Lagoon

Posted Wed, 01/26/2022 - 11:00

The strongest El Niño episode in the Western Pacific, since the record years of 1997 and 1998, took place in 2015. Micronesia experienced over 30 tropical cyclones, and the chances of typhoons impacting the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were significantly elevated. After several near-misses, in August 2015 Typhoon Soudelor directly impacted the island of Saipan. In its wake, it caused the initial grounding of the Lady Carolina, an 83-foot, steel-hulled fishing vessel, in Saipan Lagoon. 

Small Communities with Large Efforts to Prevent and Remove Marine Debris

Posted Tue, 12/28/2021 - 14:55

The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Islands Region of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hawai‘i spans across 5,239,989 square miles, and is our largest region. Despite their geographic isolation, these island communities are not isolated from the issue of marine debris. Island communities face unique challenges around managing marine debris, including limited land mass, waste infrastructure, and currents that carry debris from afar. Five marine debris prevention and removal projects supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program are in progress in the Pacific Islands Region. These small communities are leading the way with large efforts.

2021 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan Released neil.mccoy Wed, 12/08/2021 - 11:00

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to share the 2021 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the MDP and partners across Hawai‘i, including federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, industry, and academia. It represents a partner-led effort to guide marine debris actions in Hawai‘i for the next ten years.

The Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan 2010-2020 Accomplishments Report is Now Available! Shanelle.Naone Thu, 10/21/2021 - 11:00

The Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan (Action Plan) was the first community-based marine debris action plan in the nation facilitated by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Established in 2010 and updated four times, it is a comprehensive framework for strategic action to reduce the ecological, health and safety, and economic impacts of marine debris in Hawai‘i by 2020. This report provides a history of the Action Plan and celebrates the accomplishments of the community. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud of the Hawai'i Marine Debris Action Plan community and to present the 2010-2020 Accomplishments Report.

A Mission to Mālama Through Marine Debris Removal

Posted Fri, 09/24/2021 - 15:30

Wednesday, September 22 marked the completion of the marine debris removal mission in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The marine debris removal team arrived at Pearl Harbor aboard the charter vessel IMUA along with the nearly 124,000 pounds of marine debris they removed during their 30-day mission. Marine debris removal is of critical importance to both the natural and cultural components of the monument. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to have partnered in this collaborative undertaking. 

Derelict Nets and Ghost Fishing: A Haunting Problem in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Shanelle.Naone Wed, 09/15/2021 - 11:00

The delicate and extraordinary environment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (monument) receives an estimated 52 metric tons of derelict fishing gear every year from commercial fisheries all over the Pacific. Derelict fishing gear refers to nets, lines, pots, traps, and other fishing equipment that has been lost, abandoned, or discarded in the marine environment. Most modern fishing gear is made of long-lasting and/or synthetic materials, such as plastic and metal, that can remain in the environment for many years. Derelict nets and ghost fishing are a haunting problem in the monument, and their removal is an important part of protecting and preserving the unique native ecosystem of Papahānaumokuākea.