Economics of At-Sea Marine Debris Interactions with the Hawaii Longline Fishery


Marine debris
Photo courtesy: NOAA Observer Program.

Marine debris is a global problem and its effects, such as entanglement of marine organisms and habitat degradation, can be easily seen throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago. Extensive research has quantified the amount of marine debris affecting the marine environment; however, estimates of the economic impacts of marine debris have proven elusive. In 2006, a partnership project was initiated among various NOAA offices in Hawaii to study and quantify rates of interaction with and the subsequent economic impact of marine debris within Hawaii's longline fishery. This effort is being achieved through data collected in cooperation with the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office Hawaii Longline Observer Program and its new comprehensive Marine Debris Encounter Report. In the North Pacific Ocean, derelict fishing gear (mainly lost or discarded nets from other fishing fleets) is often found drifting within areas heavily fished by the Hawaii longline fleet. Derelict fishing gear (DFG) impacts the longline fishery through active gear entanglement, vessel interactions, and catch interaction. The debris poses a safety hazard for crew to disentangle the vessel and impacts the fishery economically by the occurrence of immobilized or slowed fishing operations and may induce behavioral responses within the fishery. The main objectives of this partnership project are to gain a better understanding of the overall impacts of DFG and to quantify the economic impact of marine debris to the Hawaii-based longline fishing industry.


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2008. Economics of At-Sea Detection and Removal of Marine Debris. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Internal Report. IR-08-030, 7 p.


Hospital J, Morishige C
2011. Measuring the Cost of Marine Debris to Hawaii's Longline Fishery. International Marine Debris Conference, Honolulu, HI. March 24.
Hospital J, Morishige C
2010. What is the Cost of Marine Debris? Hawaii Conservation Conference, Honolulu, HI. August 5.