Friday, January 13, 2017

Marine Debris

To bring in the New Year on a positive note, staff from the Community Education Program removed a 200 lb ghost net from the Coconut Island shoreline. A ghost net  is defined as fishing gear that has been lost or discarded at sea, and can often lead to entanglement problems with marine organisms and is a form a marine pollution.  In Hawaii, there have been incidents involving entanglement of humpback whales, monk seals, sea turtles, and other marine species.

Ghost net removed from Coconut Island shoreline 
Modern fishing nets are made out of a synthetic fiber, meanings that it never breaks down, rendering it a type of persistent marine pollution, similar to plastics which are often found on Hawaii's shorelines. In order to reduce the amount of marine debris that reaches our oceans, it is important to make an effort to recycle as much as possible. It is also crucial that we reduce the amount of waste we produce.  It can be as simple as bringing reusable bags to the market, using reusable containers during lunch, or drinking from a reusable water bottle.  When visiting a beach, make sure to not leave garbage behind. You can also participate in beach clean-ups in your area!
floating buoys keep the nets at the surface of the water column, often resulting in animal entanglement

Written by Lyndsey Tanabe

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