Divers haul in large catch of debris, plastic from marine monument

HONOLULU (AP) — A team of divers hauled in nearly 165,000 pounds of abandoned fishing nets and plastic waste during a cleanup expedition at Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, federal officials said.

The 18 divers left Sept. 19 and returned Oct. 29 from a trek to the chain of isles and atolls located 1,200 miles northwest of the main Hawaiian islands, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the expeditions.

The divers hauled in about 82 tons, which is comparable to the weight of 45 mid-sized cars or one space shuttle, NOAA said.

The team of divers from NOAA Fisheries and University of Hawaii’s Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research sorted out the debris Friday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

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