Marine Pollution

Goals of Kure's Marine Pollution Removal Program

The goal of DLNR/DOFAW marine pollution objectives is to conduct removal operations focusing on derelict nets and other entanglement harazards over 15 acres of marine intertidal shore habitat and 25 acres of coral reef areas. It is a state-funded project within a multi-agency effort to remove marine debris from Kure Atoll. By concentrating on shallow reef flats extending just inside the emergent reef, this compliments and expand NOAA’s marine debris removal efforts on Kure Atoll. Swim surveys are conducted as opportunistic and periodic rather than consistent weekly or monthly surveys.

Every Season, 5,000 Pounds of Marine Pollution is Removed

Marine pollution is an ongoing threat to wildlife populations and Kure is never free of marine debris due to a constant replenishment supplied from offshore. The National Marine Fisheries Service and Kure Atoll Research Station personnel remove marine pollution every season to maintain a low accumulation of nets, lines, and other fishing gear.

Disentanglement Does Not Guarantee Survival

And yet every disentanglement is a significant contribution to their survivorship. A number of entanglements involve impediment to feeding or movement such as a hagfish trap or a line wrapped around the muzzle of a seal.

Seabird Bolus Filled with Marine Pollution

Throwing up pellets, known as boluses, are part of the digestive process to rid themselves of natural, yet indigestible products, such as fish bones and squid beaks. Plastics--microplastics, lighters, toothbrushes, children's toys--however, have become a large portion of the indigestible products that are regurgitated. High-quality boluses--that is, boluses that are in-tact pellets--is collected to be part of our education partnerships with Oikonos that works to bring marine pollution education into the classroom.  More info here


Constant monitoring is necessary to prevent and remove derelict nets and other wildlife entanglement hazards from inter-tidal shore habitat and sub-tidal coral reef habitat. It is also important to monitor coastal areas for oil and other toxic chemicals.


With monitoring, protecting the coastal habitat from any unauthorized entry is also important. This accomplished through maintaining no-entry signs on beaches, monitoring VHF radio traffic, and visually inspecting lagoon for unauthorized entry.


Field crews locate marine debris utilizing line transect methodology and map survey areas utilizing GPS and ArcGIS technology.

Background of Marine Pollution Removal and Protection