Marine Debris - Postedon:Wednesday,October12,2005 New...

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Posted on: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 New cleanup efforts fight ocean debris W rit er An estimated 40 tons of marine debris wash up on Hawaiian reefs and beaches each year, and while cleanup efforts are cutting into the accumulated tangles of nets, ropes, plastic bottles, medical waste and other trash, the stuff keeps rolling in with the surf. But several new programs are being launched to get a better understanding of the problem and to better harness the resources that can address it. LEARN MORE High Seas Debris Detection and Tracking in the North Pacific: Marine debris studies and collection data: Recent information on the Marine Debris Research, Prevention and Reduction Act: /cgmt/09-29-05/09-29-05memo .html#PURPOSE Divers in the Northwestern Hawaiian  Islands prepare a mat of tangled marine  debris that was snagged on an atoll reef.  It will be loaded aboard an inflatable boat.  Such accumulations of rubbish trap sea  animals and damage coral as they are  rolled around during storms. NOAA 
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Goals include intercepting debris while it's still at sea, determining the economic impact of the debris on shipping and spreading the word about the threat from the rubbish. There is no question that there is a lot of the stuff. Debris collected in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands increased from 4.9 tons in 1996 to 125 tons last year. And during last year's "Get the Drift and Bag It" debris collection project in the main Hawaiian Islands, nearly 2,500 volunteers collected more than 134,000 pieces of debris from beaches and nearshore reefs. This year's "Get the Drift" event was in September, and the results are still being tallied. Vast amounts of the debris come from commercial fishing operations — largely from seafloor trawling — but a fair amount washes into the nearshore waters from land. It is unsightly and destructive. Drifting "ghost nets" catch and kill marine life, and tangles of heavy trawling gear wash through lagoons and rip up great swaths of coral reef with each new storm. Multi-agency teams led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service have hauled nearly 500 tons of debris off the beaches and reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands since 1996, with a peak of 125 tons in 2004.
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2011 for the course OCN 201 taught by Professor Decarlo,e during the Summer '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Marine Debris - Postedon:Wednesday,October12,2005 New...

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