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> Turtles, other marine life freed from debris
June 5, 2016 -WAIANAE, OAHU - A Makaha family camping at Kea'au Beach Park in Waianae this weekend discovered three live turtles and other marine life trapped in a net of debris.
   "We just took things into our own hands and we decided to cut the net, part it and pull it up, bits by pieces," said Jane Kaomealani Hose.
   The huge tangled mess of nets, hooks, plastic and trash was found by divers and brought ashore Saturday morning.
   "To see something like this is pretty sad," said Hose. "We're surrounded by the ocean, we live in the ocean. That's practically our second home."
   But marine debris like this is nothing new, according to NOAA officials. They say the amount of plastic and trash found in the ocean continues to grow and threaten numerous marine species. "We've hauled out over 900 tons of marine debris from the northwestern Hawaiian islands in the last two decades and all of that marine debris, every last bit of it, came from somewhere else," said David Swatland of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
> Watch Video and Read Article at HawaiiNewsNow

> Health Risk
People Are Ingesting Plastic By Eating Ocean Fish
March 22, 2016 - (Sputnik) - According to research, plastic is dumped into the ocean at the frightening rate of 8 million tons annually, and a sizeable portion of it eventually ends up in our stomachs.
   A study performed by Truthout indicates that the increasing amounts of plastic dumped in the ocean pose a significant threat to human health. Discarded at the rate of 8 million tons a year, equivalent to a dump truck every minute, the plastic is consumed by fish, and much of it is then consumed by humans.
   Dr. Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez, biological oceanographer at National Oceanography Centre at Britain's University of Southampton, said in an interview that, "nanoparticles of plastic getting into marine animals and the food chain are affecting fish fertility rates, and this affects food security and coastal populations."
Read entire article at Sputnik News

> Oceans will contain more plastic than fish
8 million tons of plastics leak into ocean each year
Jan 25, 2016 - (HuffPost Hawaii) - In case you need further evidence that mankind is doing a remarkable job of destroying the planet, consider this: If we continue our ways, the world's oceans will soon be home to more plastic than fish.
   That's according to a new report from the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
   "The best research currently available estimates that there are over 150 million tonnes (165 million tons) of plastics in the ocean today," the report reads. "In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne (1.1 tons) of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight)."
   In other words, in just 34 years, plastic trash in the ocean will outweigh all the fish in the sea.
Read entire article at HuffPost Hawaii

> Humpback whale successfully freed from gear
  HWF's Cheryl King assists in effort
Feb 21, 2015 - (KHON News) - A humpback whale spotted off Kona last week has been successfully freed of life-threatening gauge line. But it wasn't easy for the rescue team of 11 to catch the 45-feet long marine mammal out in the open ocean.
   A pole equipped with a flying cutter knife makes one last cut to free the whale. (Photo: E. Lyman  NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP)The entangled whale was first spotted on Feb. 13, heading up the Hamakua coastline 45 miles northwest of Hilo. Due to lack of standby support, the remote location and poor weather and sea conditions, officials could not immediately respond.
   After multiple sightings from shoreside observers and tour vessels, members of the West Hawaii Marine Mammal Response Network located and tagged the whale and assessed his condition.
   Experts learned the whale had at least five wraps of heavy gauge line around and partially embedded in its tail, with hundreds of feet of line trailing behind him. He appeared to be in moderate to fair health.
   "What we ended up doing was using an old whaling technique, go back to 1800s, the heyday of whaling, they threw harpoons at whales, not to kill them but to slow them down and stop them," said Ed Lyman, the marine mammal response manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Read entire article and watch video at KHON News

> Ka-Ching!
  Ige Nominates Castle & Cooke PR Head to Lead DLNR
Jan 26, 2015 - Governor David Ige has nominated Carleton Ching, Castle & Cooke Hawaii's Vice President of Community and Government Relationships, to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources. But the nomination, only announced last Friday night, has already spawned joint opposition from a broad coalition of groups ranging from the Sierra Club to community associations, and an anti-Ching online petition that has garnered over 5,000 signatures.
   "Stewardship of Hawaii's unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of State government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources," Ige said in his announcement of the nomination. Ige noted that "early on" in Ching's career, "he spent a decade with the Hawaii Housing Authority where he specialized in building affordable homes. From his time at the Authority he is best known for his role in facilitating a resolution to the contentious conflict between the Waihole-Waikane Community Association and the state." > Read more

> HWF donors raise $5K for monk seal hospital
  A Place of Healing: Celebrating the Opening of Ke Kai Ola
Sick and injured Hawaiian monk seals will get a second chance at survival thanks to The Marine Mammal Center's new Hawaiian monk seal hospital, Ke Kai Ola  The Marine Mammal Center(The Healing Sea), which is dedicated to the rescue and care of this critically endangered species.
   On September 2, HWF President Hannah Bernard and Megan Lamson, HWF's Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Recovery Team Coordinator, attended the Center Grand Opening celebration and blessing at the $3.2 million facility, which includes two pens and pools for monk seal pups and two larger pools for juvenile seals, as well as a medical lab, offices, food prep kitchen and education pavilion. > Read more

> Fish Facts: The problem with plastic
  Most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind
PLASTIC is the predominant type of man made debris found in today's rivers and oceans, with between 60 and 80 percent of all marine debris today comprised of petroleum-based plastics.
   This is despite the fact that plastic pollution is only a relatively recent phenomenum. Rafts of floating plastic at sea began to be reported in the scientific literature in the early 1970s but in the 40 years since, the problem has reached the far corners of the global oceans. Sure, the most obvious visible plastic pollution is inshore, such as those rafts of flotsam seen on our beaches and intertidal areas after flood events. However, recent science is showing this is only the tip of the iceberg and most of the problem is out of sight, out of mind.
 > Read entire article at

> Species of new coral seen off South Kona coast
January 30, 2014 - West Hawaii Today
A research team with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources has discovered off the South Kona coast a species of coral new to the main Hawaiian Islands.
   In a release issued Wednesday, the DLNR reported that team members came across a large number of coral colonies they had never encountered before while doing reconnaissance scuba dives in April along the South Kona coast.

Species of coral new to Hawaii seen off South Kona coast
HWF's project coordinator Megan Lamson, who also works as a technician with Division of Aquatic Resources, was one of the scientific divers that discovered this new Acropora species.
   "These robust finger-like colonies didn't even look like they were related to any other corals in the vicinity of the main islands," the release stated.
   The team returned the next day to photograph and document the colonies, and tentatively identified the species as Acropora gemmifera.
   The species is common in shallow, tropical reef environments in the Red Sea, Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the central and western Pacific, but there are few records from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It can be found, however, at Johnston Atoll, approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.
   The colonies vary in color from tan and brown to green, blue and purple, according to the release. "Not only is this the first record of A. gemmifera in the main Hawaiian Islands, it's the first record of any Acropora species occurring around the island of Hawaii," the release reads.
 > Read entire article at West Hawaii Today
 > Related journal article (pdf)

> Law & Order: Endangered Species Unit
  Monk Seal killings could be retaliation to conservation efforts
   May 12, 2013 - New York Times

Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo: Peter Bohler for The New York Times

> Preserving Hawaii's False Killer Whales
  Action is being taken to preserve a rare Hawaiian creature

   September 2010 - Honolulu-Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine
False killer whales Photo: Robin BAIRD/Honolulu Magazine

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