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Pacific Trash Vortex! Wow! I had no idea it was this bad!

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by Shaka Doug, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    1,422
    130
    0
    WARNING!, some of the images in this post are not pretty!

    Hi Ohana,

    I was talking with one of my dive instructor friends (Pete S.) yesterday and he told me about a project he's involved with that is having a fund raiser concert to help bring attention to the problem of plastics floating in the North Pacific Gyre, a gigantic portion of ocean just north east of us here in Hawaii.

    [​IMG]

    The Sea of Trash is estimated to be bigger then the state of Texas and extends up to 10 meters in depth.

    Here's a You Tube video about the situation:

    Read this account of a sailor travelling through this region for the first time

    I had heard of this Trash Vortex before but had never really seen much information documenting it. Well, Pete's talk opened my eyes a bit and I did some Google searching on my own and I recommend you do too. This is a huge problem and the only way anything is going to get done is to bring a lot of attention to it and pump some money into it.

    The Gyre Cleanup Project will be having a benefit concert here on Maui on Saturday, January 31 at the Iao Theater in Wailuku. There will be a bunch of bands, a formal presentation on the 'Trash Island' and an art auction which will feature local artwork. The cost is a suggested $20-$25 donation. The show starts at 7:30 and will go to about 11:00.

    For info about this check this website: www.gyrecleanup.org

    [​IMG]

    So what do you guys know about this problem? Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix it? I do but it's no easy task and would be a project that would go on for ten to twenty years or more, possibly forever. I'd like to help out and that's why I'm bringing it up here. We're closer to it than any other people on the planet yet most of the trash came from the elsewhere on the planet. I can get flyers from Pete if you would like to promote the event let me know. It's only a couple weeks away!

    Here's some powerful images of some of the stuff we're talking about. It's horrible!

    [​IMG]
    Bottle caps and other plastic objects are visible inside the decomposed carcass of this Laysan albatross on Kure Atoll, which lies in a remote and virtually uninhabited region of the North Pacific. The bird probably mistook the plastics for food and ingested them while foraging for prey.

    [​IMG]

    The Independent today has a piece on the Pacific trash vortex, a vast area of the North Pacific which (thanks to a current system called the North Pacific gyre) has become a floating trash dump. But not just any trash - most stuff that ends up in the oceans biodegrades or sinks long before it makes its way to the gyre. Instead, this area is full of our longest-lasting waste: plastic. An estimated 100 million tons of it, forming a soup that stretches from Hawaii to Japan.

    Here's a You Tube video about the problem:
     
  2. KrisB

    KrisB IDC Staff Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    3,507
    15
    38
    Nasty stuff!

    Unfortunately, I'm off-island that weekend, though I would like to hear more. Please advise of any other fundraisers / informational events.
     
  3. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,996
    3,447
    113
    I didn't realize there was a second trash vortex to the east of Japan. I have never experienced this region directly, but have seen video footage of it in various documentaries. More news outlets need to carry this story to get it in front of the public. Unfortunately, being in international waters means it will take a great deal of international cooperation to effect a solution. Even once the debris is removed, they'll keep making more if it isn't stopped at the source.
     
  4. scubadrewvideo

    scubadrewvideo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
    482
    2
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    I am SO glad this continues to get exposure. I was fortunate enough to be a crew and videographer on Capt Moore's 2nd voyage in 2002 to the Gyre. In fact the Basket Ball and Jellyfish shots are mine. I can tell you first hand that it is DISGUSTING out there...1000 miles from land and trash as far as the eye can see. If I didn't need to pay a mortgage, I would volunteer every year!
    Thanks for posting this here!!
     
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,996
    3,447
    113
    Actually I'm surprised this isn't receiving more comment from SB members. Is anyone aware of educational documentaries on TV or DVD that can be used to help educate the public about this? I'd like to insert a section into one of my future cable TV show episodes when I discuss various environmental issues like this.
     
  6. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    1,422
    130
    0
    I'm as surprised as you are Dr. Bill. Looks like it's up to us to get the ball rolling!
     
  7. archman

    archman Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE Florida
    4,961
    50
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    I think I'll show that video in my classes this semester.
     
  8. Tinytechie

    Tinytechie Instructor, Scuba

    111
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    wow thank you for posting this.. I honestly cant say i am the most up to date person in current events but I hadnt even really solidly heard about this until my dad brought it up recently and I was sure he was exaggerating as that is what he tends to do... I am suprised that as a dive instructor i hadnt heard about this much sooner.. Please keep updating about it I'd like to know more as more comes available to know..
     
  9. scubadrewvideo

    scubadrewvideo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
    482
    2
    0
  10. CheddarChick

    CheddarChick Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wisconsin
    2,974
    52
    48
    Wow....In one respect at least it looks like it could be fixed if, BIG IF, all countries would contribute to the cost os scooping it up. Could it be possible, if it is at a depth of 10 meters, a big net could be used to scoop it up and haul it away? I know it seems monumental but it could it be done? Thanks for the post Doug....
     

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