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Short Citation:
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, 2023: Satellite Tagged Net Locations NWHI 2018 - 2021,

Item Identification

Title: Satellite Tagged Net Locations NWHI 2018 - 2021
Short Name: Satellite Tagged Net Locations NWHI 2018 - 2021
Status: Completed
Creation Date: 2021-04
Revision Date: 2021-11-02
Publication Date: 2021

This pilot study follows the movements of 6 derelict fishing nets over time to study how far derelict nets can travel within an atoll, and how long they remain stationary. Six floating derelict fishing nets were located and tagged with satellite buoys in Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands during a marine debris removal mission in 2018. Locations of the 6 nets were transmitted every four hours from 09-30-2018 until the buoys broke free or stopped transmitting due to technical reasons. Last known stationary locations were surveyed on a return mission in September of 2021, and 4 of the 6 nets were relocated.


Tracking net movement and stationary times will help the marine debris program be more efficient in the future when removing derelict fishing nets from the NWHI.

This pilot study is part of a larger effort to test methodologies that could increase the debris removal program's efficiency and help quantify impacts to reefs.

Other Citation Details:

McCoy KS, Morioka J, Huntington B, Kindinger TL, O'brien K. Movement and retention of derelict fishing nets in Northwestern Hawaiian Island reefs. DRAFT.

Supplemental Information:

The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) includes the 1200 nautical mile chain of atolls and islets known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) that are geographically positioned as a repository for marine debris. Marine debris circulates within the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre until it encounters the atolls of the NWHI.

The Ecosystem Sciences Division (ESD) at the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) has conducted both ship- and shore-based missions in the NWHI to survey for and remove derelict fishing gear and many other types of marine debris. Exploratory and opportunistic efforts began in 1996 that eventually evolved into annual dedicated cruises deployed up to 4 months at a time with a team of up to 18 divers.

These marine debris missions have been supported by several agencies over the years, including PMNM, NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), NOAA Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP), and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). ESD has removed derelict fishing gear and other marine debris from Pearl and Hermes Atoll (PHR), Midway Atoll (MID), Kure Atoll (KUR), Lisianski Island (LIS), Laysan Island (LAY), Maro Reef (MAR), and French Frigate Shoals (FFS).


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
CoRIS Discovery Thesaurus Geographic Information > Marine Debris
CoRIS Theme Thesaurus EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Zoology > Corals > Reef Damage Assessment > Marine Debris
ISO 19115 Topic Category 013/Location
NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS US DOC; NOAA; NMFS; Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center; Ecosystem Sciences Division
None Coral Reef Ecosystem Division
None Coral Reef Ecosystem Program
None derelict fishing gear
None Ecosystem Sciences Division
None ESD
None Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
CoRIS Place Thesaurus COUNTRY/TERRITORY > United States of America > Hawaii > Honolulu > Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (28N178W0000)
CoRIS Place Thesaurus COUNTRY/TERRITORY > United States of America > Hawaii > Honolulu > Pearl and Hermes Reef (27N176W0001)
CoRIS Place Thesaurus OCEAN BASIN > Pacific Ocean > Central Pacific Ocean > Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (28N178W0000)
CoRIS Place Thesaurus OCEAN BASIN > Pacific Ocean > Central Pacific Ocean > Northwestern Hawaiian Islands > Pearl and Hermes Reef (27N176W0001)
NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
None Hawaii
None Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Instrument Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword

Platform Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword

Physical Location

Organization: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
City: Honolulu
State/Province: HI
Country: USA

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Data Set Type: CSV Files
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Maintenance Note:

Dataset is updated when new data is obtained.

Data Presentation Form: Table (digital)
Entity Attribute Overview:

This dataset contains buoy ID numbers, coordinates, time, and date information.

Distribution Liability:

While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.

Data Set Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Ecosystem Sciences Division

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 992793
Date Effective From: 2018
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): McCoy, Kaylyn S
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
Email Address:
Phone: (808)725-5471


CC ID: 993317
Date Effective From: 2018
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland (NCEI-MD)
Address: NOAA/NESDIS E/OC SSMC3, 4th Floor, 1351 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282
Phone: (301) 713-3277

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 992794
Date Effective From: 2019
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Olenski, Brooke
Email Address:


CC ID: 992792
Date Effective From: 2019
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC)
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
Email Address:
Phone: 808-725-5360
Business Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Point of Contact

CC ID: 992797
Date Effective From: 2018
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): McCoy, Kaylyn S
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
Email Address:
Phone: (808)725-5471
View Historical Support Roles


Currentness Reference: 9/30/2018 - 9/14/2021

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1069827
W° Bound: -175.800617
E° Bound: -175.7264
N° Bound: 27.943283
S° Bound: 27.891964

Geographic extent of tagged derelict fishing nets

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 1069828
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2018-09-30
End: 2021-09-14

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Security Classification System:

Not applicable

Security Handling Description:

Not applicable

Data Access Policy:

NOAA Ecosystem Science Division (ESD) Data Sharing Recommendations, version 9.0 updated August 12, 2015:

ESD welcomes the opportunity to collaborate on research issues contributing to the scientific basis for better management of marine ecosystems. ESD has a very diverse set of field activities that generates large volumes of data using an array of data collection protocols.

The following recommendations are for your consideration as you use this data:

1) Data analyses should take all field exigencies into account. The most effective way to do this would be active collaboration with ESD principal investigators.

2) In all presentations, product releases, or publications using data generated by ESD, proper acknowledgement of both ESD and the individuals responsible for data collection is expected. Citing the DOI (if available) is preferred, a non-DOI example is listed below.

3) If you collect or generate data for the same study areas, ESD requests that you share relevant information on complimentary data collections.

4) Those receiving data are strongly urged to inform the ESD Data Management Team of any errors and discrepancies that are discovered during the course of using these data. They are further urged to bring to the attention of the Team all problems and difficulties encountered in using these data. This information is necessary in order to improve the collections and to facilitate more efficient and economical data processing and retrieval. The users are asked to supply copies of any missing data that may be located, and to provide information as to significant subsets and special aggregations of data that are developed in using the material provided.

Example citation:

"This publication makes use of data products provided by the Ecosystem Science Division (ESD), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with funding support from the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). The analysis and interpretations presented here are solely that of the current authors.”

Data Access Procedure:

Data can be accessed online via the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Ocean Archive.

Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

Please cite NOAA Fisheries, Ecosystem Science Division (ESD) when using the data.


Ecosystem Science Division; Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (2020). Satellite Tagged Net Locations NWHI 2018 - 2020. NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information,

Metadata Access Constraints:


Metadata Use Constraints:


Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 992798
Start Date: 2018-09-30
End Date: 2021-09-14
Download URL:
Distributor: National Centers for Environmental Information - Silver Spring, Maryland (NCEI-MD) (2018 - Present)
File Name: ESD_Debris_satellite_net_locations_NWHI_09302018_09142021

csv file of buoy ID numbers, coordinates, date, and time. Locations of tagged satellite nets in the NWHI

File Date/Time: 2021-06-11 00:00:00
File Type: .csv
File Size: 1 MB
Compression: Uncompressed



CC ID: 992799
Name: NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Region - Science Overview
URL Type:
Online Resource

Technical Environment


Data accessed using SatLink sofware: ELB3010 Manager, downloaded as a csv file, data manipulated in R version 3.6.1

Data Quality


Location accuracy dependent on software: Satlink ELB3010 ILL

Completeness Report:

3 of the 6 buoy tags stopped transmitting prematurely. There are some time frames when data were not transmitted at the regular 4 hour interval.

Conceptual Consistency:

Pretty good conceptual consistency except for holes in the location transmissions, which are due to unknown reasons.

Quality Control Procedures Employed:

Locations were mapped in ArcGIS 10.6.1 software to estimate accuracy

Data Management

Have Resources for Management of these Data Been Identified?: Yes
Approximate Percentage of Budget for these Data Devoted to Data Management: Unknown
Do these Data Comply with the Data Access Directive?: Yes
Is Access to the Data Limited Based on an Approved Waiver?: No
Approximate Delay Between Data Collection and Dissemination: Unknown
Actual or Planned Long-Term Data Archive Location: NCEI-MD
Approximate Delay Between Data Collection and Archiving: Unknown
How Will the Data Be Protected from Accidental or Malicious Modification or Deletion Prior to Receipt by the Archive?:

NOAA IRC and NOAA Fisheries ITS resources and assets.


Lineage Statement:

Data were downloaded using ELB 3010 Manager software. Locations were imported into csv file, symbols in coordinates were replaced in excel, then the files were loaded into the software program R. In R, date and time were separated and formatted to have consistent formats, and coordinates were converted to decimal degrees. Several points of bogus transmissions were removed, and all files were combined into one (raw data is one file for each buoy for each month).



CC ID: 992804

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 993453

Download data

Open ELB3010 Manager Software

OLD SOFTWARE VERSION: Right click on the map and minimize to bring the dashboard into view

Open buoy log (T:\MarineDebris\MD Operations\NWHI\2018\Data\Spatial\Satlink\Positions) to see which ones are still active. Find the last timestamp for each buoy

Example: stored time column: 21/11/18 16:45:15

In ELB manager, click on the red checkmark icon with the “I” on it. A window will open to show the last positions. Show Last 400 should be sufficient. Next to the filter name button, select the buoys one at a time, click Update (in the top right corner) and select the records since the last download. Record the latest date/time stamp in the log sheet. Once they are highlighted, right click and select Export…

Navigate to the Positions/workspace folder and create a folder with today’s date. Save the file with the default name, but add an underscore and the last 2 digits in the buoy ID number (ex: Export1812102007_00)


In ELB manager, the three buoys should show up in a list on the left half of the screen. Right click and select ‘Export’ from the menu. In the pop up window, apply the filter ‘Last days’ and select something reasonable according to the last download in the buoy log.

Save the file with the default name here: T:\MarineDebris\MD Operations\NWHI\2018\Data\Spatial\Satlink\Positions\workspace\raw_data

Click Export to file, Accept, and close the window. Repeat for each buoy.

Process Contact: McCoy, Kaylyn S
Phone (Voice): (808)725-5471
Email Address:

Process Step 2

CC ID: 993454

Convert text files to csv

Individual values are separated by semicolons, not commas, like excel is expecting. Change that in notepad.

Open notepad, and open each csv file (to locate, navigate to folder and select ‘all files’ for type. Create a new first line and type: sep=;

Save file, open next file, and do the same thing

Process Contact: McCoy, Kaylyn S
Phone (Voice): (808)725-5471
Email Address:

Process Step 3

CC ID: 993456

Convert coordinates from degrees decimal minutes to decimal degrees and exclude extra information

Navigate to the raw data folder and open the csv files in excel and convert symbols to readable characters for R (may help to sort files by date modified)

Highlight the latitude and longitude columns and select the ‘find and replace’ tool

- replace ‘°’ with ‘/’

- replace ‘' ’ with ‘/’ (make sure to include a space after ' )

- replace ‘,’ with ‘.’

Save file here: T:\MarineDebris\MD Operations\NWHI\2018\Data\Spatial\Satlink\Positions\workspace\excel_replace_values_clean_data\2021

Save with default name, and add ‘_replace’ to the end of the file name

For R script:

Navigate here: T:\MarineDebris\MD Operations\NWHI\2018\Data\Spatial\Satlink\Positions\R code and open 1_format_lat_long_date_time_from_raw

R code converts coordinates to decimal degrees and converts date and time into a readable format for calculating summaries. All raw files are combined into one csv file.

Acquisition Information


Instrument 1

CC ID: 993457
Identifier: GPS (Global Positioning System)
Instrument / Gear: Instrument
Instrument Type: GPS (Global Positioning System)

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S.-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. This system consists of three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment. The U.S. Air Force develops, maintains, and operates the space and control segments.


Platform Unavailable Reason: Not Applicable

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity Satellite Tagged Net Locations NWHI 2018 - 2021 Entity Data Table

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 63206
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:63206
Metadata Record Created By: Brooke Olenski
Metadata Record Created: 2020-11-14 02:46+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-08-15 17:09+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2021-11-03
Owner Org: PIFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2021-11-03
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2022-11-03