Two Marine Debris Program staffers are participating in NOAA’s annual mission to remove derelict nets and other marine debris from sensitive coral reefs and shorelines in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. An estimated 52 tons of derelict fishing gear washes up in the Monument each year, threatening the pristine ecosystem. Follow their journey.
By: Dianna Parker
Mission Log 8
Each time we pull up a huge, stinky, algae-covered tangle of fishing nets into our boat, the same thought crosses my mind: where in the world did this come from?
We know that they are used for commercial fishing activity – but whose? How long have they been tumbling through the ocean and why are so many ending up on these tiny, remote islands and atolls? Can we trace them to their source?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.
To get some more insight into why this issue is so complex, I spoke with Amy MacFadyen, an oceanographer and modeler with NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, and Jim Potemra, an oceanographer at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Check it out.