North Pacific … A vast expanse of Waste!
The quantity of small plastic fragments floating in the north-east Pacific Ocean has increased a hundred fold
over the past 40 years.
ONE HUNDRED FOLD!
I will state it again …
ONE HUNDRED FOLD!
I have inserted a video below by: Capt. Charles Moore
It makes you really question what’s going on in our fragile world.
Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography documented the big rise when they trawled the waters off California.
They were able to compare their plastic “catch” with previous data for the region.
The group reports its findings in the journal Biology Letters.
“We did not expect to find this,” says Scripps researcher Miriam Goldstein.
“When you go out into the North Pacific, what you find can be highly variable. So, to find such a clear pattern and such a large increase was very surprising,” she told BBC News….
An obvious concern is that this micro-material could be ingested by marine organisms.
Take a look at this video to see the scale of the problem.
Over 7 million tons of plastic spanning an area twice the size of Texas destroying our oceans and harming our food chains.
Plastic waste in the North Pacific is an ongoing concern.
The natural circulation of water – the North Pacific Gyre – tends to retain the debris in reasonably discrete, long-lived collections, which have popularly become known as “garbage patches”. In the north-eastern Pacific, one of these concentrations is seen in waters between Hawaii and California.
This Scripps study follows another report by colleagues at the institution that showed 9% of the fish collected during the same Seaplex voyage had plastic waste in their stomachs.
That investigation, published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, estimated the fish at intermediate ocean depths in the North Pacific Ocean could be ingesting plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tonnes per year.
Toxicity is the issue most often raised in relation to this type of pollution, but Ms Goldstein and colleagues say broader ecosystem effects also need to be studied.
The abundance of ocean debris will influence the success, or otherwise, of “rafting communities” – those species that are specifically adapted to life on or around objects floating in the water.
I wonder what these guys think, while gliding overhead, looking at the expanses of waste and debris building year upon year upon year?
I think the next big question is:
Can the oceans ever be cleared of all this floating garbage before the consequences are beyond our control?
It would be interesting to have a portal to see into the future, I just can’t imagine what sights it would behold.