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

Lynker Promotes Fishing for Energy and Association of Pacific Ports Partnership

Lynker scientist and ESA specialist Sarah Pautzke presented on Fishing for Energy at the Association of Pacific Ports (APP) annual conference held in Portland, OR in July 2019. Fishing for Energy is a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF.org) initiative designed to help repurpose marine debris collected voluntarily by commercial and recreational fishermen into useful, sustainable, clean energy. Fishermen deposit debris in special bins at ports, which local companies collect and process into products and/or fuel.

Ms. Pautzke described the issue with fishermen catching derelict fishing gear on the high seas, keeping it aboard while they fish to reduce the probability of it entangling their gear again or their propellers, then throwing it back over before returning to port because the ports charge disposal fees. The Hawaii Longline Fleet at Pier 38 in Honolulu worked with NOAA, Schnitzer Steel, and the Covanta waste-to-energy plant to provide a waste bin at the pier for returning fishermen. Lynker is partnering with NOAA PIRO to pursue a grant to establish the bins in San Francisco and Long Beach. Sarah made the pitch to the Port of Long Beach along with the other ports to see if other ports are interested in participating in the effort.

She also presented Lynker’s expertise to the port audience so they better understand how Lynker can fit in to their work – from biological assessments for proposed work, to grant drafting and management, to staffing.  APP members were interested in our company because we’re a new type of company to them and we’re very interested in partnering, as are they (as opposed to just selling something to them). They welcomed Lynker to their organization and asked us to return in the future.  Here’s to building new partnerships throughout the Pacific!

Lynker Sucks: The AlgaeVac Project

Lynker Sucks… invasive alien algae off a coral reef in Maunalua Bay, Oahu 

Lynker has partnered with non-profit stewardship organization, Mālama Maunalua (MM), to remove several species of invasive alien algae (IAA) in Maunalua Bay. Mālama Maunalua has continuously monitored the IAA: Gorilla Ogo, Leather Mudweed, and Prickly Seaweed, in the Paiko Restoration Area to help measure and keep track of the effectiveness of the huki (hand removal) program. And now thanks to a National Fish and Wildlife Grant, Lynker has partnered with MM to take this restoration effort to the next level.

Using an aquatic vacuum pump system mounted on a kayak barge (the AquaVac), Lynker technicians are removing the IAA from areas further from shore than what was accessible to the huki program, increasing the restoration area. Teams of at least four Lynker technicians go out in the bay when the tide is appropriately low and use the AlgaeVac to suck up the invasive species. The algae is then bagged and transported to local farmers in the same ahupua‘a, or traditional land division, to use as fertilizer. We expect to have our technicians removing IAA for 100 days over the next six months.

Lynker bioacoustician helps NOAA deepen and enhance our understanding of humpback whales and their habitats in the Monument

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) Research Specialist and Lynker employee Eden Zang served as lead bioacoustician on a two week expedition to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) aboard research vessel Searcher (searcherhawaii.com). The mission focused on the deployment of five acoustic recorders in various locations across PMNM as well as a planned recovery of one acoustic recorder at Maro Reef that was  deployed in October 2018. In addition, Lynker will help document and interpret the overall research process for future use in Sanctuary education and outreach efforts.
The passive acoustic recorder packages will help NOAA study the presence and distribution of humpback whales in PMNM waters. Our personnel will also help monitor additional biological and anthropogenic sources of sound that contribute to the soundscape of the Greater Pacific region. These recorders are part of the national NOAA/SanctSound project examining soundscapes across seven national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument. This program is a continuation of ongoing monitoring and research and will help NOAA measure sound levels and characterize acoustic conditions in sanctuaries.
For more information about our research efforts, contact NOAA Federal program lead Marc Lammers at Marc.Lammers@noaa.gov.
Significance: Advances the management plan’s objective to deepen and enhance understanding of humpback whales and their habitat by exploring the way humpback whales in the central North Pacific Ocean utilize different areas in waters off Hawaiʻi.

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 fisheries innovation social enterprise
Teem Fish on a National Fish and Wildlife Federation (NFWF)-funded to pilot advanced EM 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!

About SnapIT – Snap Information Technologies partners with organizations to deliver images and video effortlessly to customers, helping them to get on with your work effectively, while we focus on distributing those images of the world, to the world.

About TeemFish – TeemFish Monitoring is a Canadian social enterprise focused on empowering local fisheries with world-class innovation. TeemFish collaborates with private industry, governments, and communities to design and deliver efficient and effective electronic fisheries monitoring programs worldwide.

 

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.