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News and Media

News and Media

By Founder and President Kurt Lieber

Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) volunteers who are also members of Maui Mantas dive club, in cooperation ProDiver performed a cleanup of La Perouse Bay on June 4th. 

The beautiful Maui coastal waters of La Perouse Bay hides ocean debris beneath surface.

Our efforts were focused on an area frequented by fishermen, which is too difficult for divers to reach without a boat. 

Ocean Conservation Dive boat

We launched from Kihei Boat Ramp. Our boat was ProDiver III and the captain was Mark. Our volunteers included two snorkelers, Lucrecia Ayala and Lloyd Johnson. Thanks to Darren Fryer for the photography! We had nine divers: Patty Daly, Michael Dougan, Rae Duran, Susan Frett, Lindsey Gorsuch, Sally Jones, Daniel Perez, Kate Pitts, and Brian Seifert.

Divers on boat leaving the dock
ODA ghost gear cleanup divers

We were really busy on this cleanup, carefully removing huge expanses of polypropylene fishing line that had been used by fishermen trying to catch bigger fish like tuna.

UW Ocean Defenders Divers removing wildlife entangling line

Their hooks often get caught on the coral and when they try to pull it back and can’t, they cut it away…leaving the ghost line to wrap itself around anything it gets near.

Maui Ocean Defenders Alliance member cleans corals

We did a single dive and brought 138 pounds of ocean debris to the surface, then to shore for removal. 

ODA cleanup diver uses lift bag to remove debris

ODA Maui Crew with Catch of the DayOf that total, 106 pounds was lead, which is being recycled into dive weights.  The line turned out to be approximately 3,300 feet. This is the kind of toxic material that is constantly leeching into these vital ecosystems, so the crew was ecstatic to get it out of there!

There was still plenty to be recovered, but ocean conditions took a turn for the worse, so we headed back to port, aborting dive two. We look forward to going back another day soon!

We’d be honored to have you “come back” with us by ensuring we can charter a boat to get there. Please contribute to this effort today! We thank you!

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