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Hawaiian Marine Threats

Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Guidelines

HWF volunteers haul in marine debris on Midway Atoll - photo by Suzanne Canja
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 ingestion hazard.
   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 Photo: John Coney - click to enlargeNational 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.

> National Marine Sanctuary
HWF supported the designation of the Hawaiian Islands humpback whale - photo by Carrie RobertsonHumpback Whale 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.

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Related Links
 > Sustainable Guidelines
 > Marine Debris Removal
Marine Debris Photos
Dive cleanup - photo by Cheryl King
Marine debris cleanup
HWF volunteers - click photo to enlarge
HWF volunteers cleaning
the beach

HWF truck full of nets
Cleanup of Kaho'olawe Island - photo by Suzanne Canja
Cleanup of Kaho'olawe

Tangled monk seal
entangeld monk seal underwater - photo by Suzanne Canja
Entangled seal underwater
Plastic  marine debris - photo Cheryl King
Plastic marine debris

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