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Marine Debris Program Publishes Paper in Scientific Reports

MAY 11, 2020 — On May 8, the Marine Debris Program published a paper in Scientific Reports in which observer data from the Hawai'i-based pelagic longline fishery was used to estimate relative abundance of marine debris accidentally caught by the longlines. 

View of a marina.
Vessels from the Hawai'i-based commercial pelagic longline fishery docked in Honolulu. Image credit: NOAA.

The analysis found that 90% of items caught by longlines are derelict fishing gear from other fisheries operating in the region and that the relative abundance of derelict fishing gear caught by the longlines has declined by two thirds in less than a decade. The study was a collaboration between MDP, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Walsh Analytical Service and the NOAA Pacific Islands Region Observer Program. The paper is open access at

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Two people untangling from a net on the deck of a vessel.
Fishery observers from the Hawai’i-based pelagic longline fishery haul in marine debris that has been snagged by a longline. Image credit: NOAA.
Last updated Thursday, July 9, 2020 9:34am PDT