HWF volunteers and staff haul in a
tangled mess of marine debris
collected on Midway Atoll in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
About Marine Debris in Hawai'i
During the last two decades, marine debris in the world's oceans has
become a significant threat to marine wildlife as an entanglement and
In Hawai'i, the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and humpback whale, the
threatened green sea turtles, dolphins and fish have become entangled
in marine debris.
Even the coral reefs which support the Hawaiian tropical marine
ecosystem are damaged from entanglement and broken when debris masses
are dragged over them by ocean currents and wind.
How HWF works to help solve the problem
From 1996-1999, HWF participated in monk seal research at Midway
Atoll in association with the
National Marine Fisheries Service to
assist in their recovery. In addition to helping remove marine debris
from beaches, the presence of HWF biologists ensured that entangled
seals were found, released, and relocated, and that pups born there
were tagged and observed for survival success.
In 1998, HWF joined the first multi-agency and non-governmental
groups marine debris clean up around French Frigate Shoals. In six
days, the groups removed 6 tons of debris from coral reefs and
beaches that monk seals and sea turtles frequented.
> HWF'S REEF USE GUIDELINES
> HWF MARINE DEBRIS REMOVAL
National Marine Sanctuary
supported the designation of the Hawaiian Islands
National Marine Sanctuary in 1992, forming the Support Our Sanctuary
Coalition. HWF has provided Sanctuary volunteers and representatives
to the Sanctuary Advisory Council and has assisted
federally-permitted humpback whale researchers to help assure the
recovery of this endangered and endearing seasonal resident of Hawai'i.
> NMS WEBSITE
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