Expedition hauls tons of plastic out of remote Hawaii atolls

  • In this April 11, 2021 photo provided by Matt Saunter, Kevin O'Brien and Tate Wester remove a boatload of fishing nets from Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. A crew has returned from the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with a boatload of marine plastic and abandoned fishing nets that threaten to entangle endangered Hawaiian monk seals and other marine animals on the tiny, uninhabited beaches stretching for more than 1,300 miles north of Honolulu. (Matt Saunter, Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project via AP)

  • A Laysan albatross chick nests April 4 next to a surfboard that washed ashore on Laysan Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. (Photos by Matthew Chauvin, Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project/via AP)

  • Workers with the Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project remove fishing nets and plastic from the shoreline of Lisianski Island April 13 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. (Kevin O’Brien, Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project/via AP)

  • Workers with the Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project push small boats loaded with fishing nets and plastic off Kure Atoll April 10 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

  • A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal rests on top of a pile of ghost nets April 5 on the windward shores of Laysan Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. (Matthew Chauvin, Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project/via AP, NOAA-NMFS Permit No. 22677)

  • Workers with the Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project drag fishing nets off the beach of Midway Atoll April 9 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. (Matthew Chauvin, Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project via AP)

HONOLULU — A crew returned from the northernmost islands in the Hawaiian archipelago this week with a boatload of marine plastic and abandoned fishing nets that threaten to entangle endangered Hawaiian monk seals and other animals on the uninhabited beaches stretching more than 1,300 miles north of Honolulu.