By: Dianna Parker, Communications Specialist, NOAA Marine Debris Program
“The ship was at maximum capacity and we did not have any space for more debris.”
That’s how Kyle Koyanagi, marine debris operations manager at NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, described the result of a recent NOAA effort to remove debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In total, scientists pulled 50 metric tons of derelict fishing gear and other debris from waters and shorelines around northern most islands and atolls: Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Lisianski Island and Laysan Island.
That’s a lot of debris. What’s more shocking is that they do this every year and remove roughly the same amount. Read more about the mission, which the NOAA Marine Debris Program supported, here.