Hawaii Bounty Project Removes 6 Tons of Derelict Fishing Gear
In January 2023, Hawaii Pacific University’s (HPU) Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR) announced an ambitious bounty project partially supported by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program to remove tons of derelict fishing gear from the ocean.
The project’s goal is to remove 100 tons of derelict fishing gear from the oceans in just two years. The program rewards dedicated commercial fishers for their essential role in protecting Hawaii’s coral reefs, offering them $1 to $3 per dry pound for retrieving derelict gear at sea.
In partnership with the Hawaii Longline Association (HLA) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources, HPU’s preliminary results from the project comprise 12,189 lb. (6.09 tons) of debris, from 41 fishing nets, removed from the ocean in less than one year.