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.