Eastern & Western Garbage Patches in the Pacific

Eastern & Western Garbage Patches in the Pacific

In 1997, Captain Charles Moore ‘discovered’ the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

While returning to  California from Hawaii aboard his 50-foot catamaran, the Alguita, he chose to chart a course through the North Pacific  Subtropical Gyre.  This area of the  Pacific is a circulating rotation of ocean currents and is normally avoided by  sailors due to its light winds.

In the eastern portion of the Gyre he  encountered a substantial amount of trash, mostly plastic, scattered across the  area.  Now commonly referred to as the  Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it is a vast plastic soup (from the surface down  through the water column) containing everything from large abandoned fishing  nets (ghost nets) to plastic bottles, bottle caps, toothbrushes, containers,  boxes, to miniscule particles of plastic that have either been reduced from  larger pieces by wave action or sunlight (photodegradation).

Since 1997, Captain Moore has made numerous research voyages  to the Gyre resulting in a body of authoritative research publications and data and  educational programs.

The research Algalita do will lead the way to a new era of consciousness regarding the issue of  plastic marine pollution. Part  of their current research is focusing on a better understanding of the magnitude  of our plastic “footprint”, including the effects of fish ingestion of plastic on human health.

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