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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Good news: Pac garbage patch much smaller
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-07-2011 09:49 PM
ShockValue But Faster, compared to the total amount of sand in the world, that's a pretty insignificant amount of plastic and other debris. Some of those items are actually helpful in the making of common sea-birds. No worries there!

/sarcasm
01-07-2011 09:32 PM
Faster This report may indeed be 'good news', just as it may be as incomplete/inaccurate as the hyped media reports may be. I don't think, though, that there's any question that plastic in our oceans is a big problem. One needs only to wander pretty well any exposed beach anywhere to see that fact.

It's a shame to see this kind of thing, for example, on an otherwise beautiful and pristine island like Barbuda.... and it literally goes for miles.



01-07-2011 08:51 PM
Allanbc
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
I saw it on that site, sorry you don't like the title. Any comments on the content?

Nice boat by the way.
It is interesting but I would like to see more data. Hard to comment with a lack of data.

This is from the researcher's website:
Quote:
In August-September of 2008, I participated in the C-MORE funded Survey of Underwater Plastic and Ecosystem Response (SUPER) cruise. The objective of this cruise was to locate and sample the microbial communities and biogeochemical properties associated with the Pacific plastic patch between Honolulu, Hawaii and Port Hueneme, California. At each of the 15 stations along our cruise track, I deployed a LISST -100X (Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometry, Sequoia Scientific ™) to characterize total particle load and particle size distributions. Additionally, I deployed a Satlantic free-fall profiling device to analyze the inherent (scattering, absorption and fluorescence) and apparent optical properties of the upper water column (<150m). Given the low concentrations of plastic debris observed along this transect cruise (<5 pieces/cubic meter), it is unikely that the transmittance of light or the growth of suspended microbes was impacted by plastic debris. Nonetheless, we did observe several instances where the feeding tubes of Vellela vellela which were obstructed by small pieces of plastic. These cnidarians and other indiscriminate feeders are particularly vulnerable to ingestion of plastics. Lastly, we observed several instances of species non-endemic to the open ocean residing on floating debris. In this regard, plastic in the marine environment may represent a vector for the passage of invasive species across ocean basins.
So, this claim is based on a single transit of the "garbage patch". I would like to see more data.
01-07-2011 08:06 PM
Bilgewater John, good post.
This is a paragraph taken from the article:

Another way to look at it, White said, is to compare the amount of plastic found to the amount of water in which it was found. “If we were to filter the surface area of the ocean equivalent to a football field in waters having the highest concentration (of plastic) ever recorded,” she said, “the amount of plastic recovered would not even extend to the 1-inch line.”

It sounds like if you seined a football field size patch (very fine mesh) 1 foot deep you would end up with 160' X 1' X 1" of plastic. But what do they mean by surface? If you seined it 20' deep, I would think it would be much less plastic per sq ft.

As you likely know I'm constantly having to go through a great deal of misleading information regarding our ocean environment, so this interests me.

Also...our football fields are 195' wide, so it's a bit misleading for Canadians. Our football field would likely include areas of less concentration.
01-07-2011 04:54 PM
killarney_sailor Found a much smaller garbage patch in the SW Caribbean recently. We were about 100 miles from the western end of the San Blas Islands in Panama and ran into a large region of sargasso weed and plastic. Took us several hours to cross it. Apparently the currents from the east swirl here and plastic comes from all over the Caribbean until it finally is carried west along the coast of Colombia and Panama. Nasty looking to be sure.
01-07-2011 04:47 PM
jrd22 I saw it on that site, sorry you don't like the title. Any comments on the content?

Nice boat by the way.
01-07-2011 03:05 PM
Allanbc
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Allan- perhaps a read of the article would clear up the misconception. It's from Oregon State University, posted on Watts site.
Perhaps you should compare the titles.

Watts Up With That?
Garbage: Another environmental claim proven to be hyped

OSU site
Oceanic “garbage patch” not nearly as big as portrayed in media

Subtle difference but certainly shows the bias of Watts Up With That. Why not just cite the original source without the inflammatory title?
01-07-2011 02:27 PM
LandLocked66c
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Allan- perhaps a read of the article would clear up the misconception. It's from Oregon State University, posted on Watts site.
That and it's on the internet, I mean really!
01-07-2011 02:15 PM
jrd22 Allan- perhaps a read of the article would clear up the misconception. It's from Oregon State University, posted on Watts site.
01-07-2011 12:42 PM
Allanbc I wouldn't consider Watts Up With That? the best information source.
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