NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai returns from monk seal and marine debris mission
NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai returned June 8 from a 21-day mission to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Fourteen researchers were deployed at various locations to monitor and help recover monk seals. NOAA also partnered with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii on a pilot project to pick up terrestrial marine debris and plastics and begin a research project that will identify types of debris and estimate accumulation rates on the beaches of Kure Atoll, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, and French Frigate Shoals. The team collected approximately 5,000 lbs of debris, much of which will be recycled and used for art/education or burned for power.