Please select your home edition
GAC Pindar 2018 Leaderboard

Science blog: Removing marine debris on midway

by Kelly Williams, NOAA Fisheries 3 Nov 12:30 UTC
Mission removing marine debris on Midway Atoll © NOAA Fisheries

Once again, our marine debris team split—one team of five stayed at Midway Atoll and one team of ten departed on the vessel Imua to clean up land debris on other islands. They went to Kure, Pearl and Hermes, Laysan, Lisianski, and French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Here on Midway, we like to refer to ourselves as the "Midway Furious Five." We are on a mission to rid the land and sea of marine debris!

So far, we have been very busy. Once again, we had some awesome weather here so we decided to take full advantage and finish some of our swim surveys along the emergent reef at the edge of the atoll. We were quick to find nets all over the reefs and filled the boats six feet high with net!

After finding so many nets on the reef, it was time to finish land debris removal on Spit Island. We finished cleaning the rest of the island within a couple of hours, and headed back to sort through most of the nets, buoys, and bulky items we collected over the past couple of weeks.

So far, we have more than 600 buoys collected from Eastern and Spit Islands. Since our time here is limited, we will sort through most of the plastics we have collected once we get back to Honolulu.

We just started on Sand Island, the largest and only habited island here at Midway. There is quite a bit of debris on the beaches here and our backs are feeling it.

When we first spotted some nets on the beach today, we thought they would be easy to pull out and remove, but soon discovered that they were buried deep in the sand. Luckily, we had some teammates who were seemingly born to dig, and those nets didn't stand a chance! Some of the other interesting finds from the land debris here included: a toy horse, port-a-pottys, lots of toys, fishing gear, bottle caps, plastic bags, and plastic chairs.

As we turn in for the night, we are all exhausted but excited to get back out there and clean the beaches tomorrow. Our time is so valuable here, we really cherish the experience and focus on the critical importance of cleaning up marine debris from the land and sea.

Related Articles

Modeling Bering Sea Fur Seal decline
Partnerships in Alaska Scientists have gathered a wealth of data on northern fur seals, a hardy species native to the frigid Bering Sea and North Pacific.They have weighed them to measure their growth, drawn their blood to measure calorie expenditure Posted on 11 Nov
Whale entanglement causes and solutions
Detailed in a new report Whale entanglements off the West Coast and potential solutions to the escalating problem are the focus of a new report including the presentations and observations of fishermen, biologists, and fisheries managers Posted on 9 Nov
NOAA sets sail to explore Puerto Rico deep waters
Watch the exploration of unknown areas online and in real-time The deep waters surrounding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are some of the least explored in the entire United States Exclusive Economic Zone of the Atlantic Ocean, and we have only begun to understand the deep-sea resources, habitats Posted on 9 Nov
Conservation partners rescue rare sea turtle
Support hawksbill sea turtle conservation by calling NOAA's Marine Animal Response: 1-888-256-4890 Hawksbill turtles are the rarest and most endangered sea turtle species in the Pacific Ocean. In Hawaii, we have a very small population that continues to struggle for survival. Posted on 4 Nov
Science blog: Machine learning and whale song
Working with Google AI learning to identify whale song What do you do when you have too much data? It's not a question I've ever had to ask myself in my scientific career, and is rarely a problem when working with hard-to-study animals like whales and dolphins. Posted on 2 Nov
What causes seasickness?
A conflict in the inner ear and the erratic motion of a vessel Seasickness results from a conflict in the inner ear and the erratic motion of a vessel. Posted on 29 Oct
NOAA-led team frees entangled whale
Near Dutch Harbor, Alaska A NOAA-led team of marine mammal responders was able to free an entangled humpback whale early Saturday evening in Unalaska Bay, near Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The whale was first reported entangled on Monday, October 15. Posted on 26 Oct
Open Ocean Trustees' Draft Restoration Plan
Seeks public comment on its first draft after environmental assessment The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has released its Draft Restoration Plan 1 and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 141 pg) for the bird and sturgeon restoration types described in the Trustees' Programmatic Restoration Plan. Posted on 13 Oct
How many male sea turtles is enough?
A recent study reveals insights into the mating strategies of male hawksbill turtles Although dozens of studies over the past 20 years have shown that it is common for a female sea turtle to mate with multiple male turtles, virtually no studies have indicated that a male turtle can mate with multiple females. Posted on 12 Oct
Florida A&M Scholarships for GulfCorps Grads
Florida A&M Scholarships for GulfCorps Grads Florida A&M University, which leads the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems, will provide two scholarships each year to expand GulfCorps graduates' opportunity to be a new generation of stewards for coastal environments Posted on 12 Oct
Marine Resources BOTTOMZhik 2018 Clearance FOOTERGAC Pindar 2018 Footer