Photo taken by Jim Leicther.
The Seaplex research ship is finishing up its exploratory voyage into the Great Pacific Gyre. This gyre is a huge continent-sized area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is now serving as a slow swirling repository for plastic bits of debris in every square meter down to a considerable depth…
The Chief Research Scientist offered up a profoundly revealing quote on today’s Seaplex blog:
“The next time we cut the small boat’s engine to pick up a piece of trash, we noticed that the ocean’s surface was covered in polka dots of tiny plastic. Though we’d been pulling up plastic in our nets for days, seeing it freely floating about, not bunched up in a net, was shocking. The magnitude of the problem suddenly came crashing down on me – how could there be this much plastic just floating in a random patch of ocean a thousand miles from land?”