Hawaii’s Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) volunteers have removed an astounding amount of debris from the waters around the islands.

Marine fishing debris is one of the scourges of Hawaii’s tropical reefs. The islands are popular with anglers and scuba divers alike, and unfortunately, lots of fishing gear ends up abandoned and entangled on the island’s reefs.

Volunteers have ramped up their efforts to remove this debris, to help amongst others the Hawaiian green sea turtle and the hawksbill turtle, who are both endangered and often can get entangled in marine fishing debris and drown.

The efforts are being driven by Cheryl King, who for 15 years was the Hawaii Director of the TIRN. The team’s efforts have paid off handsomely: In October 2017 and January 2018, volunteers conducted 61 coral reef clean-ups, removing the following debris:

  • 555 pieces of rubbish.
  • 4miles/6.5km of fishing line.
  • 1,583 fishing weights.
  • 432 fish hooks.
  • 209 fishing leaders.
  • 571 swivels.
  • 106 bobbers and lures.


  1. Aloha!
    My name is Cheryl King, and I’d like to let everyone know some updates for this article… I only worked for TIRN for one year, and that’s over now but our ongoing work is through my SHARKastics project, under the Hawai’i Association for Marine Education and Research (HAMER). Our marine debris coastal and reef cleanups are still underway, and you can find out our updated information here: http://www.SHARKastics.org and http://www.HIhawksbills.org

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