Taking out the trash — in the middle of the Pacific
From April 12 to May 13, scientists and divers aboard NOAA Ship Hi`ialakai traveled to the monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islandsoffsite link, which stretch 1,200 miles northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. There they collected lost or abandon fishing gear, consumer plastics and other debris from Midway, Kure, and Pearl and Hermes atolls, Lisianski island, and French Frigate Shoals.
Since 1996, NOAA and its multi-agency partners have removed debris from these primarily uninhabited islands and atolls each year. Marine debris is one of the biggest threats to ocean life. Birds, turtles, fish and marine mammals can ingest it, mistaking it for food, which often leads to starvation. Fishing nets can also be a danger by wrapping around and breaking corals or by trapping and drowning animals.
Though marine debris is one of our ocean’s biggest problems, it is a preventable one — disposing of trash responsibly before it enters our waterways is the key.
Learn moreoffsite link about the 2016 NOAA mission.