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. About 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 4
Surveying and removing nets is a very methodical, strategic process. As I mentioned earlier, an in-house GIS team creates maps with a series of points, and once the teams set out for the day, they spread far and wide to these pre-assigned locations. The survey areas are not random; they’re chosen based on data going back to 1999 that show debris hotspots within the reefs and weather trends.
One set of divers gets to work, swimming along the reef structure’s edge and visually scanning for nets…
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