Fishing with Rod Discussion Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Author Topic: Another Reason Why Garbage Cleanups Along Our Waterways Are So Important  (Read 3516 times)

chris gadsden

  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13877

What are plastic garbage patches? From a newspaper article.
 
 

 
Scientists say they believe plastic trash blobs bigger than some countries are forming in the middle of the world's oceans. The debris is slowly brought there by circular ocean currents called gyres that sweep up debris and bring it to their centres.

The Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch is the only one that scientists have studied up close. It's estimated to contain 100 million tonnes of garbage and its size is estimated at anywhere from 700,000 square kilometres to 15 million square kilometres and at least 60 metres deep.

Where are these patches?

Plastic garbage patches are believed to be accumulating in five gyres -- in the middle of the North and South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

What's in them?

All sorts of litter has been found in the gyres -- everything from a cargo spill of millions of plastic baggies to bottle caps, Styrofoam, syringes, water bottles, traffic cones, lighters, tires and toothbrushes, beach balls, plastic bags, shampoo bottles and plastic dinosaurs, checkers, highlighter pens, perfume bottles and fishing line.

Where does the trash come from?

One-fifth of the plastic in the oceans is thought to be litter from ships. The rest comes from land.

What does it look like?

Some of the plastic debris can be seen bobbing on or near the surface but much of it has broken down into tiny pieces after years of floating in the sea and is barley visible, so the garbage patch is often described as plastic "soup." Most pieces are less than five millimetres across. About a third of the debris floats on or near the surface -- 60 metres down or more -- while the rest sinks to the sea bottom.

What is the impact of the plastic in our oceans?

More than 260 animal species are known to eat or get caught in the plastic debris. About 100,000 marine mammals are estimated to die from doing so in the North Pacific alone. On Midway Island in Hawaii, 400,000 albatrosses feed their chicks nearly five tonnes of plastic a year, John Klavitter, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey, estimates. A European study found 98 per cent of dead seabirds had plastic in their stomachs. Scientists fear toxic chemicals in the plastic may enter the animals' bodies. People may also ingest microscopic pieces of plastic when they eat fish.

ever_hopefull

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 59
Re: Another Reason Why Garbage Cleanups Along Our Waterways Are So Important
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 08:01:35 PM »

This is a good reminder to not leave any garbage behind when we go to our favorite flow.  Chris - remind us again when the next river clean-up date is.  Thx
Logged

chris gadsden

  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13877
Re: Another Reason Why Garbage Cleanups Along Our Waterways Are So Important
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 08:14:37 PM »

This is a good reminder to not leave any garbage behind when we go to our favorite flow.  Chris - remind us again when the next river clean-up date is.  Thx
Saturday April 4, working out of the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve for this one.

Rodney

  • Administrator
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14173
  • Where's my strike indicator?
    • Fishing with Rod