HONOLULU – The State and four non-profit organizations have teamed up to create a new statewide number to report marine debris. Derelict fishing gear, like nets, is responsible for entangling marine life like turtles and humpback whales.

Kristen Kelly with the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) Protected Species Program explained, “The idea is to have people call in hazardous nets immediately. We can mount a rapid response to remove these nets from our shorelines as quickly as possible and before they drift back into the open ocean.

The hotline has a distinct Hawai‘i flavor with a bit of pidgin thrown in: 833-4-Da-Nets (833-432-6387). It is a collaboration between DAR and Sustainable Coastlines on O‘ahu; the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute; Surfrider Foundation on Kaua‘i; and the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund on Hawai‘i Island.

“Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) is happy to collaborate with this statewide marine debris hotline to recover large derelict fishing nets from along Hawaiʻi Island coastlines, as we have since 2003, thanks to grant support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and community volunteers, said Megan Lamson, HWF Hawai‘i program director.

“Marine pollution, including abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing nets, is one of the most significant threats impacting our ocean today,” said Tommy Cutt, the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute’s executive director. “The Marine Debris Rapid Response Hotline provides an opportunity for us to work collaboratively with our community to reduce threats facing marine life and ensure a healthy ocean for future generations.”

“Just as we share one ocean between our islands, it makes complete sense to coordinate all our efforts to respond to nets and other debris that the ocean brings in,” commented Cynthia Welti, the Chair of Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i.

“Since 2011, Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i has organized and executed large-scale

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