Success stories/projects we want to feature on the overall Success stories page.

PIROP Legend Michael Clark – 3,400 sea days and counting

Lynker’s Michael Clark is a Pacific Islands Region Observer Program (PIROP) legend, having recently completed his 3,400th sea day in May 2019 – some quick math will tell you that “Uncle Mike” has spent almost 10 years of his life on board Hawaiian longline (tuna) fishing vessels contributing to NOAA’s understanding of commercial fishing effort, endangered species population dynamics, and other scientific research in the Pacific.

When not at sea, Mike enjoys watching football with his family. It’s only appropriate that his favorite team happens to be the one with a marine mammal as a mascot.

To commemorate Mike’s achievement, Lynker presented Mike (at the left, with Lynker Vice President Liz Tarquin) with a Dan Marino-autographed jersey at a small gathering of fellow observers, friends, and colleagues at NOAA’s new Inouye Research Center on Ford Island on June 17, 2019.  

Uncle Mike started observing on 2002. His spirit, work ethic, tenacity, and reliability have made him a legend within the observer and fishing communities. He has also become an exceptional mentor and resource for new observers entering the program.

When asked, what’s kept him going for so long, Mike humbly says, “Every trip is different, you always learn and see something new! My dream was always to be a marine biologist, and this job has gotten me there, and I love it!”

Mike is always ready to talk story. A man with an easy laugh and a quick smile, we are lucky to have him. Mahalo Nui Loa, Uncle Mike.

On behalf of all our Lynker staff here in Hawaii, we wish Uncle Mike continued success on the sea, and many mahalos for his years of hard work in challenging conditions.

Lynker Helms Electronic Monitoring Success in the Pacific Longline (Tuna) Fishery


Lynker employee, Josh Tucker (pictured on the left with a member of the Teem Fish implementation team), a former NOAA Pacific Islands Region fisheries observer, has taken his hobby of building computers to the fishing industry! Lykner has teamed with NZ technology company SnapIT and Canadian marine conservation non-profit Teem Fish on a National Fish and Wildlife Federation (NFWF)-funded to pilot advanced electronic monitoring solutions in the Hawaii longline (tuna) fishery. Josh learned to install and configure SnapIT’s innovative, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled camera systems, and which Lynker and Teem Fish deployed on five commercial longline vessels participating in the pilot program – in just under three weeks.

“To be honest, I love this,” Josh said in describing the experience, “Every boat is its own giant puzzle, and making something like this work is so satisfying.”

As part of the pilot, Lynker is collaborating with SnapIT to collect, troubleshoot, and assess the value of fixed and 360-degree technology to the fishing industry and science. With our first video now captured, Josh will turn his expertise in species identification to help train the machine learning algorithms to recognize fishing activity and other important indicators such as fish age, weight, sex, distribution, and bycatch.  Josh, a new father, is thrilled to be able to be involved in the fishery while being able to remain home to raise his son, Locke. “Aside from the lack of sleep, being home with my family is much better than being at sea.” All parents can relate.

Josh has also been a thoughtful ambassador for the project, communicating the goals to captains and crews. Said Captain Craig Yeackel (pictured to the right of Josh), “I wouldn’t be doing this if it was anyone else, this is a favor to you guys, we trust you guys.”

Thanks to Josh, our partners SnapIT and Teem Fish, and all the volunteer vessel owners and captains, we are off to a successful start with much promise ahead for EM to improve how fishermen record catching effort and scientists ensure we have plenty of poke to fill our bowls now and into the future!

 

Lynker Makes a Big Splash at Oahu Elementary School’s Career Day

Lynker’s Observer Program Port Coordinator, Erin Emanuel, made a big splash at the Keoneula Elementary School Career Day, held May 10, 2019. Erin was one of 30 guest speakers sharing what they do with over 170 third graders (including Erin’s twins) and hosting tables and demonstrations in the cafeteria. Erin’s talk and table focused on marine science, and included life sized models of turtles, fish, and birds found in the Greater Pacific as well as the gear scientists use to capture and record interactions, behaviors, and other information about marine species and their habitats in and around Hawaii.

 

The biggest hit was Erin’s ocean safety suit demonstration – as part of at-sea survival training, Lynker marine scientists like Erin must be able to put on these life-saving suits in less than one minute. Everyone at the event will definitely need more practice!

 

Erin said, “I basically explained my job as a Lynker observer. It was a blast!” Lynker believes it is never too early to inspire the next generation of marine scientists!

Hydrophone Retrieval for the Hawaiian Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

HIHWNMS Research Specialist Eden Zang (contractor with Lynker Technologies) and UH Manoa recovered three acoustic recorders in the waters off Maui and Kauai. The recorders had been deployed since November/December 2018. These passive acoustic recorder packages were deployed in order to study the presence and distribution of humpback whales in sanctuary waters.
Great work Eden!

Lynker Observers in Action – Oikonos Research in Seabird Bycatch Mitigation

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Region Observer Program (PIROP) is a direct contributor to the success of a multi-year program to reduce seabird bycatch in the Pacific. For the past decade, PIROP has played an instrumental role in collecting data and specimens on seabird interactions in Hawaii, the Greater Pacific, and off the coasts of Central and Southern California. The Oikonos team recently met with our observers to share how they have used information collected, and the value it has added in scientific research and fisheries management.  They are VERY thankful for the hard work our observers have done in support of their research.

Click on the links below to read more.

Oikonos Seabird Bycatch Necropsy Program

Oikonos NOAA Necropsy Program Final 2018 Report

Lynker Visualizes Colorado’s Drought Plan: A Story Map

Lynker, as part of a project for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, a division of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, has launched an interactive dashboard that displays drought vulnerability at the state and county level based on Colorado’s 2018 Drought Plan. To more easily visualize drought vulnerability throughout the state, Lynker created an Esri Story Map. The platform takes users through visual summaries of Colorado drought risk by sectors, using images and graphs to provide an interactive and engaging experience.

The complete interactive Story Map can be viewed here.

The opening screen of the Story Map provides an overview of County Drought Risk Scores across Colorado as well as a snapshot of drought vulnerability risk by sector. Similar to the 2018 updated Plan, the Story Map also drills down into content specific to different sectors: agriculture, recreation, socioeconomic, environment, energy, and state assets. State assets include state buildings and critical infrastructure (dams), land board revenue, state-based recreation and park visitation, aquatic species and habitat (fisheries), and protected state-owned areas.

Further information on Colorado’s 2018 Drought Plan is available at drought.gov.

Lynker Presents Independent Study of Pebble Mine Dam Failure

On Friday, March 1st, Dr. Cameron Wobus presented findings to the Commercial Fisherman for Bristol Bay from a Pebble Mine Tailings Dam Failure analysis that was conducted by Lynker. The study was developed after report scoping documents indicated there was likely to be inadequate tailings dam failure scenarios considered in the Army Corps of Engineers Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In all scenarios analyzed by Lynker, a tailings dam failure would directly impact hundreds of miles of anadromous waters.

Hydrologist Dr. Cameron Wobus is a broadly trained earth scientist with approximately 15 years of experience in geomorphology, hydrology, and environmental data analysis and modeling.

 

Dr. Wobus’ complete presentation can be found here. The Commercial Fisherman for Bristol Bay have also posted a recording of the presentation.

Lynker helps emerging Native Hawaiian maritime leaders chart their courses

On February 17, Lynker’s PMNM Native Hawaiian Program Specialist Kalani Quiocho and Permit Specialist Pua Borges met with Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy’s (KVA) Hālau Holomoana program participants to talk about their personal career paths and the various careers at NOAA.  The KVA is a non-profit organization that aims to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian navigation and provides educational leadership opportunities for primarily Native Hawaiian and local students to advance in contemporary maritime careers. Hālau Holomoana, a Native Hawaiian culture- and wa‘a- (traditional outrigger canoe) based maritime vocational program for high school students seeks to develop leaders educated in the rich maritime and voyaging cultural heritage of their ancestors.

For more information, contact Kalani Quiocho, kalani.quiocho@noaa.gov ; or Pua.Borges, pua.borges@noaa.gov.

Significance: Traditional Hawaiian non-instrument voyaging is part of the living culture of Papahānaumokuākea, the most advanced navigation training seascape in Hawaiʻi, and we have the opportunity to support an emerging generation of ocean stewards from these islands.

Lynker’s Pacific Islands observer Holly Naholowaa featured in the NOAA Fisheries Newsletter and Science Blog

Lynker’s Holly Ann Naholowaa was recently featured in the NOAA Fisheries Newsletter and Science Blog for her great work supporting the Observer program.

Great work Holly!

Observations of Fish, Birds, and Life at Sea in the Pacific Islands

February 22, 2019

Pacific Islands observer Holly Naholowaa measuring a lancetfish.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as a fisheries observer? Spending weeks at sea, long hours identifying and measuring fish, and all the while braving the harsh and vast environment that is the open ocean? Holly Ann Naholowaa, a veteran observer for the Hawaiʻi longline fishery, shares her experiences during a fishing trip and provides a glimpse into her life at sea.

Lynker drives implementation of groundbreaking American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP)

Lynker’s Sarah Pautzke (third from the right) drove the development of the American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP) finalized and released December 2018. Ms. Pautzke worked with a team of American Samoa Government (ASG) and federal employees and the assistance of a consultant, Miranda Foley (fourth from the left), with whom Lynker partners.  And, it was formatted and turned into its final product by another Lynker employee, Melanie Jordan. Well done!
 
The ASOP is the first ocean plan to be completed by the United States for the Western Pacific jurisdictions. The purpose of the plan is to ensure compatible ocean use and conservation of ocean resources to ensure the vibrant coastal and ocean environments.  There are several tasks that require data collection, particularly GIS data.  Please download the plan and have a think about how best Lynker can assist in accomplishing these tasks by partnering with
federal and ASG agencies.
 
The ASOP is now “owned” by the AS Department of Commerce, who is responsible for its implementation.  Thus, it is housed on the AS DOC website.
 

 

Links of importance:
Great job by our teammates!   

If you have any questions about the plan or how to use it, please reach out to Sarah Pautzke, spautzke@lynkertech.com so she can guide you to the correct person with whom to work.