By Oahu Volunteer Coordinator & ODA Advisory Board Member Marjorie Zensen
Usually when I write cleanup reports, I use the words “sporty” and “challenging” and talk about quick 30-minute dives.
That’s what happens when we dive sites like Fish Camp or Spitting Caves on the Southeast side of Oahu. But today was a totally different experience! We were onboard the South Seas II. Our location was the Westside’s Waianae Small Boat Harbor at a dive site called Stars.
It’s not always like this on the Westside but today it was and the eight of us who went underwater were so, so happy! While there was a slight surge, overall it was calm with decent visibility.
During our 60-plus-minute dive we meticulously picked away at coral heads, freeing them from the entanglement of fishing line!
The fishing line often spreads itself over the reef so by the time we were done with just one small area we would have a fist-full of tightly wrapped line!
Over and over again, line after line, we picked and we untangled and we cut. Some of the line was a thick gauge monofilament type while other line was a thin, braided line that would grab the coral, making it so difficult to pull it free without harming the coral.
We found chandelier hooks, massive deep-water fishing hooks, some fishing weights and, of course, the line. Out of the water, in a pile, it doesn’t really look impressive. But if you had seen it strewn across the reef and tangled up in coral heads, you would know that it was definitely worth the trip!
So thank you, Matt Zimmerman of Island Divers Hawaii (IDH) for allowing us access to your boat, the South Seas II, as well as your crew Garrett Spark and Violet Dickerson!
And thanks as always to our awesome dive crew of veteran cleaners who knew just what to do underwater!
Our ODA divers were Mark England, Ray Goodrich, Dan Okamura, Glenn Roberts, Chad Schmidt, Ed Sisino, and me, Marjorie Zensen. IDH’s Violet led the pack – mahalo!
If you'd like to join an ODA crew on an ocean cleanup, please visit our Volunteer page!