NAWILIWILI — The Kaua‘i chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, in collaboration with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, has placed ocean-debris recycling bins at the Nawiliwili and Port Allen small boat harbors.
The large plastic bins were lost from commercial fishing boats and recovered on Kaua‘i’s beaches by Surfrider’s Net Patrol crew.
Fishermen, tour-boat and dive-boat operators are asked to help in removing dangerous nets, ropes, line, buoys and other fishing gear they encounter while out on the water, and bring it ashore.
Surfrider is asking for that gear to be placed in the bins so that it can be reused, recycled or disposed of in the best possible way. The bins are not trash receptacles.
“We have seen how derelict gear entangles and kills whales, monk seals, swordfish, turtles, shearwaters and other marine life,” said Dr. Carl Berg, Kaua‘i Surfrider senior scientist.
”Nets wrapped over coral can kill a whole reef. This is happening all around the Hawaiian islands, and is the reason we need to remove nets as soon as possible,” Berg said.
“Surfrider’s Beach Clean Up and Net Patrols remove about 10,000 pounds of marine debris each month from Kaua‘i’s shoreline, but even more floats by in the ocean,” said Barbara Wiedner, co-manager of Surfrider’s marine-debris program and hotline manager.
”That is why we need the help of ocean-goers in removing the gear before it kills anything,” she said.
Surfrider thanks Kaua‘i’s DOBOR District Manager Jeremiah Aguilera and Harbor Agents Mana Brown (Nawiliwili) and Kathy Rosare (Port Allen) for their help in many marine-debris-recovery incidents, and for placement of the bins at the small boat harbors.
Kaua‘i Surfrider’s marine-debris-removal program is part of the statewide, collaborative, Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan, facilitated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and is partially funded through a NOAA Marine Debris Program grant in a partnership with the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund.
For more information, call or text Surfrider’s hotline at 635-2593.