It is a state-funded project within a multi-agency effort to remove marine debris from Kure Atoll. The goal is to remove derelict nets and other entanglement hazards from 15 acres of marine intertidal shore habitat and 25 acres of coral reef areas. Marine debris is sent back as often as possible. In the meantime, marine debris is stored in the pier shed and other secure locations until the time to take them off-island.
Kure’s beaches and reefs are impacted by tons of marine debris capable of entangling and killing wildlife and destroying coral reefs. The National Marine Fisheries Service and Kure Atoll Research Station personnel remove thousands of pounds annually to keep the accumulation of nets, lines and other fishing gear as low as possible, but the atoll is never free of marine debris due to a constantly replenishing supply from offshore. Monk seals, sharks, turtles, seabirds and other marine species have been found entangled in abandoned nets and other debris such as packing straps. Increased monitoring and removal effort are needed to prevent the destruction caused by marine debris. Due to the highly endangered status of the Hawaiian Monk seal, every animal that can be saved from death by entanglement is a significant accomplishment, and helps to perpetuate the species.