Maui News

Reminder to report washed up “ghost nets” and marine debris

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  • Kahana Bay marine debris cleanup (February 2022) Courtesy: Kate Doliber, 4ocean
  • Kahana Bay marine debris cleanup (February 2022) Courtesy: Kate Doliber, 4ocean
  • Kahana Bay marine debris cleanup (February 2022) Courtesy: Kate Doliber, 4ocean
  • Kahana Bay marine debris cleanup (February 2022) Courtesy: Kate Doliber, 4ocean
  • Kahana Bay marine debris cleanup (February 2022) Courtesy: Kate Doliber, 4ocean

The public is reminded to report washed up marine debris along Hawaiʻi shorelines because of the threat it poses to marine life like whales, monk seals and sea turtles, that can become entangled.

An estimated 6,000 pounds of derelict fishing gear was removed in 2021 before it washed back out to sea during high tide, according to state officials.

Non-profit organizations, 4ocean and Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i, are urging the public to call the hotline: 833-4-da-nets.

The hotline is a collaboration between the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources and several other organizations on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island.

DAR’s Mimi Olry said, “Ghost nets, abandoned or lost nets, pose a huge danger to marine animals around the world. These nets, as they float in the ocean attract small juvenile species, which in turn attract larger feeding fish and marine mammals. Nets were created to entrap and are often nearly invisible in dim light. Once trapped, animals like fish, dolphins, seals, whales, sharks and birds starve to death or drown struggling to get free. As these nets move through the ocean, other ropes and nets are snagged and if caught on near-shore reefs, will tear and destroy corals until they finally wash up on shore. There they often continue to entangle innocent animals that may lay on it or explore it.”

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On O‘ahu, 4ocean works in collaboration with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi as well as Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response to quickly respond to the marine debris reports. These organizations work collaboratively to try and usually remove the nets within hours of a report.

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