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Old 04-12-2018, 01:00 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,680 posts, read 55,343,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
How much of this was garbage tossed into the ocean from ships and shore and how much is from earthquakes and tsunamis? Both Navy ships I was on in the 90s were very strict about plastic trash not being thrown from the ship. Trash like plastic and chemicals were held on the ship until next port visit. Some ships had a plastic compression machine that heated and pressed plastic trash into a round disc making it easy to handle and store for longer periods of time.

Considering the current size of the pile, this could become a shipping navigation issue and needs to be addressed soon.
From the same source:
"The remaining 20% of debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from boaters, offshore oil rigs, and large cargo ships that dump or lose debris directly into the water. The majority of this debris—about 705,000 tons—is fishing nets. More unusual items, such as computer monitors and LEGOs, come from dropped shipping containers."
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:10 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
As in the posts that suggest it is bs preventing people from harvesting the “gold mine” of the great garbage patch. The notion that those who have spent their entire lives studying the ocean and pollution would have thought about “scooping it up”. The issue is much more complicated than you are pretending it is.
Indeed. First of all, cleaning up marine debris will be a very complicated process. There is not an easy way to scoop it up, because many microplastics are the same size as small sea animals, so nets designed to scoop up trash would catch these creatures as well.
Second: this Garbage Patch is so far from any country’s coastline, no nation will take responsibility or provide the funding to clean it up.
Third: according to estimates - it would take 67 ships one year to clean up <1% of the North Pacific Ocean.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:09 AM
 
16,565 posts, read 14,001,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphfr View Post
No you didn't but I believe you!

I have to ask. Do you really believe we should make plastic a component of ocean ecosystems as a matter of course? For one thing it;s still a tradeoff as the plastic may be absorbing some toxins and leaching others. Whatever positive side there is to plastic absorbing toxins my thought would be it is minimal as the enormous landmass of plastic in the Pacific can only be beneficial to that specific area and logically I would think that it would be more beneficial closer to the locations where these absorbed toxins are introduced. Say near river mouths and ocean outflows.
I don't think we should be removing what is already part of the floating plastisphere, we should absolutely be doing anything and everything to minimize production of plastics, particularly single use plastics as well as having better techniques for preventing plastics from becoming part of the marine plastisphere.

My mention of the adsorbtion of POP by plastics was just to underscore the notion that it is a complicated problem and far beyond the scope of just "scooping it up". As an aside there is little positive to the adsorbption issue because when those plastics/microplastics are eaten those POPs are likely released.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:32 AM
 
16,565 posts, read 14,001,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
I had to read up a bit more about meroplankton to get a better understanding of the types of locations where it's found in greatest abundance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meroplankton





So if I'm understanding the bolded parts correctly, and understanding that meroplankton are depth dependent, would it be such a great interference to scoop up the debris patches that are in the gyres way out in the middle of the deep, open ocean waters? Wouldn't there just naturally be a lot less meroplankton there than there is in the waters closer to shelf regions / shorelines where the meroplankton get their food?
Yes and no. Ichthyoplankton, as all fisheries, tend to be of greatest abundance in temperate coastal waters but that does not remotely mean that there are not ecologically significant amount in the open ocean. Additionally, many species are solely pelagic (open ocean) and not neritic (coastal) at all, many of the tunas are solely pelagic as plankton. The species that are pelagic as ichthyoplankton are disproportionately species of concern. Do you think removing the entire young of the year of species like yellowfin tuna is a problem? Even ignoring all other species, and the cascading effects throughout the foodweb and ecosystem, keep in mind yellow fin tuna are themselves near threatened and slow maturing.

Added to this is the behavior of the vast majority of pelagic ichthyoplankton to aggregate around floating material. There are also issues of K vs R species to consider when talking about plankton and the garbage patch. Most of the species are R selected, and thus loss millions of offspring to predation or other lack of recruitment, but by the time they are part of the patch much if not most of the predation has already occurred and now you are talking about removing the survivors.

Its complicated, and sacrificing the meroplankton (ichthyo and otherwise) within the garbage patch is not a scientifically sound idea.

And while I am glad you are reading up, wikipedia inherently has its limitations. Not for nothing I spent a large proportion of my education and career as an oceanographer studying the biochemphysical interactions of currents and plankton as it relates to large scale productivity. It is a complex issue to be sure.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Long Island,NY
1,013 posts, read 538,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
I don't think we should be removing what is already part of the floating plastisphere, we should absolutely be doing anything and everything to minimize production of plastics, particularly single use plastics as well as having better techniques for preventing plastics from becoming part of the marine plastisphere.

My mention of the adsorbtion of POP by plastics was just to underscore the notion that it is a complicated problem and far beyond the scope of just "scooping it up". As an aside there is little positive to the adsorbption issue because when those plastics/microplastics are eaten those POPs are likely released.
First let me say you sound very knowledgeable about ocean ecosystems. Certainly more than myself.

So are you suggesting this plastic island has resulted in a NEW food source for marine life? If so I think your opinion holds more water, pardon the pun. However, I find it very difficult to believe that removing this man-made plastic island would be detrimental in the long run. My logical solution would be to remove all of the plastic, make laws that would reduce the amount of ocean pollution going forward and try to restore the ecosystem that nature intended. I mean who's to say that removing the plastic, though it may result in the loss of one type of plankton, won't result in the flourishing of other types, resulting in even higher volumes of more natural food sources for marine life?
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:51 AM
 
16,565 posts, read 14,001,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphfr View Post
First let me say you sound very knowledgeable about ocean ecosystems. Certainly more than myself.

So are you suggesting this plastic island has resulted in a NEW food source for marine life? If so I think your opinion holds more water, pardon the pun. However, I find it very difficult to believe that removing this man-made plastic island would be detrimental in the long run. My logical solution would be to remove all of the plastic, make laws that would reduce the amount of ocean pollution going forward and try to restore the ecosystem that nature intended. I mean who's to say that removing the plastic, though it may result in the loss of one type of plankton, won't result in the flourishing of other types, resulting in even higher volumes of more natural food sources for marine life?
Not food, the plastisphere provides new habitat.

The problem is that ichtyoplankton and other meroplankton are the larvae of many species, including some whose stocks could not tolerate the loss of even a single years worth of recruitment. Things like tuna, are pelagic while planktonic. Removing the plastic would kill most If not all of the associated larval fish, squids, inverts, and so on, which would have cascading effects throughout the food web.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:50 PM
 
5,149 posts, read 3,259,277 times
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I had the chance to volunteer out on Midway Atoll for US Fish and Wildlife for 3 and a half months from November 2009 to February 2010. One of the projects we did was a marine debris survey, since Midway is on the edge of the Great Pacific garbage patch.

Midway is made up of three separate islands of varying sizes, Sand Island (where we lived) 1117 acres, Spit Island 15 acres, and Eastern Island 366 acres. We had 10 different plots, 6 on Sand Island and 4 on Eastern Island. Each plot was 40-45 yards long and however wide the beach was, which varied. We (me and 3 other volunteers) would go out every two weeks, usually during low tide and collect every single piece of marine debris (bigger than a quarter) on that beach in that plot.

After we collected everything we would bring it all back to our office/lab and sort it all, catalog it and then weigh it all. Lots of plastic of various sizes, lots of fishing/shipping stuff, most of our garbage was from Japan and Asia, since we were closer to them than the mainland US.

The craziest thing I remember seeing/finding was a large acetylene tank and some old 1980's computers. Some of us made art out of the marine debris.

The biggest problem with Midway and the garbage is the small bits of plastic, since Midway is home to like 3 million birds, including over 1 million albatross and the adult albatross go out to get food to feed their chicks, they ingest the plastics and then regurgitate that into the throat of the chick which in turns digest the plastic and chicks eventually die, because it builds up in their digestive track.

Photographer, Chris Jordan, is releasing a new movie this month about this very topic, here's the website and trailer (caution, you might tear up a wee bit after watching it):

https://www.albatrossthefilm.com/

https://vimeo.com/218502282
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:57 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,680 posts, read 55,343,583 times
Reputation: 89108
There might be a hope:
Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis:
https://www.theguardian.com/environm...medium=website
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Long Island,NY
1,013 posts, read 538,253 times
Reputation: 1781
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
I don't think we should be removing what is already part of the floating plastisphere, we should absolutely be doing anything and everything to minimize production of plastics, particularly single use plastics as well as having better techniques for preventing plastics from becoming part of the marine plastisphere.

My mention of the adsorbtion of POP by plastics was just to underscore the notion that it is a complicated problem and far beyond the scope of just "scooping it up". As an aside there is little positive to the adsorbption issue because when those plastics/microplastics are eaten those POPs are likely released.
Just a heads up!!! Not really shocked!

https://nypost.com/2018/04/23/first-...garbage-patch/
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:11 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,033,780 times
Reputation: 5940
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/...-litter-worse/


"London 28 June: An explosive report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) reveals that efforts to recycle plastic are a major cause of the marine litter problem. The report, written by public health expert Dr Mikko Paunio, sets out the case for incinerating waste rather than trying to recycle it."
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