KAILUA-KONA – The ocean is full of fish. And garbage
This is not a new phenomenon, and it is not exactly news that the waters off West Hawaii are not free of hazardous pollutants. However, officials, captains and residents of the region have noticed a marked increase in ship-generated waste over the last few weeks – deteriorating fishing and freight networks, plastics and even construction materials.
Capt. Jeff Fear, a longtime commercial fisherman, said plastic and other garbage are more or less constant 20-40 miles offshore. Where he has noticed, the increase in debris is at 1000 fathoms, where nets are the main problem, and what he calls Ono Lane, about 40-50 fathoms offshore.
"There was a lot of stuff there in the last few weeks," Fear said. "They call it, it's there."
Buoyed by the current, the problematic presence of excess debris in both the water and the coast has plagued the entire lakeshore of Hawaii Island.
Lynda Bertelmann brought together a group on Tuesday Clear fishing nets, PVC pipes and wooden planks full of nails from the Ala Kahakai Trail, which runs the coast between the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
She said friends in Kawaihae washed away debris in the bays of Honokoa and Kailapa
Megan Lamson, Fish and Habitat Surveillance Technician at the State Department of Land and Natural's Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) Resources, said that nets at Pololu and Puako are currently involved Makalawena Beach
Capt. Jeremy Bricco, who was employed by Jack's Diving Locker, fished a net out of the water on Saturday off Kohanaiki as his boat set off for the Manta Rays tour. He estimated the net weight between 200 and 250 pounds and said it took three people to get it on board.
"For some reason, I do not know what happened, but the last two or three weeks we've had a lot of this stuff coming by," Bricco added.
Lamson, also the Hawaii Island Program Director for the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, said that an obvious increase in ocean debris goes way back ̵
While In the Pacific, nets, lint, plastic, and other garbage pile up at an alarming rate, Lamson said. "In the Hawaiian Islands, such debris accumulates on the northeastern shores, while Hawaii's accumulation along the southeast coast is more frequent, beginning at South Point Several miles northeast.
The prevalence of marine pollution makes it more or less certain that any part of an island will be affected by ocean debris, to some extent, but Lamson said that identifying certain perpetrators can be as bleak as that Navigate through the waters that pollute them.
"We have learned that the fault of any country or country every industry is really ineffective, "she explained. "We all need to recognize the problem and work together towards the solution."
Lamson added that the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, along with volunteers, has removed more than half a million pounds of marine litter over the past 15 years. By weight, more than 51% consisted of network and line bundles, which are most commonly used for the purposes of fishing and transporting cargo.
Part of the net / pipeline waste may have been deliberately discarded, though Lamson suspects most finds
DAR installed in February 2017 and March 2018 outside the offices in Kona and Hilo network vessels. Since that time, Lamson said the division had removed around 4,650 pounds of expired power and trunk bundles in seven truckloads. The Kona office produced two truckloads in 2017 and four already this year, with one fifth of them ready to ship.
Mark Manuel, regional coordinator of the Pacific Islands Marine Debris at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), spoke about whether the state should expect even more debris to accumulate.
"There is currently no indication that the amount of ocean debris in our ocean is decreasing," Manuel said, calling plastics the most common species. "Furthermore, in Hawaii, we have no significant data on marine litter (or even a good baseline), to determine if we expect more or not. "
Source of the network sprawled across West Hawaii Like all the other islands, Manuel said the coast is not from Hawaiian commercial fishermen who are part of the long haul industry.
"These roundabouts are mainly from the Pacific Ocean's trawl or purse seine fisheries," said Manuel, adding that the sources are both international and domestic.
Ocean flow patterns may also play a role in why West Hawaii appears to have been the landing pad for more debris in recent weeks, but Lamson said these patterns can be dynamic and are therefore difficult to determine. Several small local vortices further complicate the matter.
With both the source of pollution and the factors that drive them into West Hawaiian waters at greater rates at least partially obscured, the best solution is to participate in remediation efforts.
The Hawaii Wildlife Fund is leading several each year to tackle some of the obvious negative effects – entangled marine life, inadvertent plastic ingestion, asphyxiation of coral reefs and the potential introduction of invasive species.
Fear is also a Prominent Member of Big Island Wave Riders Against Drugs, which performs beach cleanups. As a fisherman, he holds scoop-it events where he asks other boat captains to help cleanse local waters for the collective good.
"Many of us work at night, so you can not see (the debris)," said Angst. "One of these times someone will hit something and they will sink and someone will get hurt."