Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

March 25, 2011

Trip to the Plastic Gyre

Part One:

It's well known that the oceans are cluttered with flotsam, jetsam, and flotillas of drifting debris. The "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is a giant whorl of floating plastic refuse that has been estimated to rival the size of Texas. I've read that this place would be impossible to clean up due to its vast expanse. It is also impossible to guess how many animals swim through or fly into this toxic dump. Interestingly, the majority of the garbage comes from land, and not sea-going vessels.
Part Two:

It is also well known that the animals that pass through this area directly ingest a lot of plastic. They also ingest planktonic animals that have stored plastic toxins. Eventually, the toxins accumulate as they move up in the food chain.
Part Three:

I've been to sea. I know what it's like to bake on a windless, seemingly bottomless expanse. We passed the occasional jumble of line and bouys, but we never saw the dump. But, it was there... in molecular form. What a bummer.


  1. Anonymous3/25/2012

    Hello, my name is Sean

    Right now I am studying Environmental Science in Dr.Goodwin's class at CCS (Christchurch school).
    Plastic Gyre is one of the bad affects to ant ocean species or any animals that hinge upon the ocean.
    We are reading a book name UNEP YEARBOOK, in side the book, it mention the consumer plastic kills more ocean species than industrial plastic.
    We have discuss about this during the class, we are talking about if we can go on Google Earth and search on the internet, we may be able to see some island in the middle of the sea cover by trash and mostly plastic. As you mention, like the size of Taxes.
    If I can doing something, I will likely to help.
    one person's effort is always better than nothing, but of course more people's help, the soonest we can clean up the ocean. And I know is not that easy by working on it, it's easy to say it.

  2. Hieu Nguyen3/25/2012

    There is lots of information in these video and they are all good, also most of the plastics in the ocean are from consumers and industrial. Plastic in the ocean can damage the economy of the country by effecting the fishing industries and tourism.

  3. Simon Park3/25/2012

    People don't really realize how big problem this is. They usually think this as a "floating plastic bottles", which is half right and half wrong. It is the characteristic of the plastic that is being a big problem. First of all, plastic bottle takes a long long time to be decompose, when it is in nature. Since the bottles are also floating over water, which is different than being buried in land, this Island of plastic bottles may be there for thousands of year. Secondly, the toxic chemicals leaking out of plastic is simply ruining the habitats around the ocean, which leads to a chain effect and brings other problems. Humans are on top of the food chain, which means we eat the fish that we poisoned, and that is not smart.

  4. Hey mom,

    As stated above, we're doing work here in Environmental investigating the trash and general pollution issue in the pacific and Atlantic. Thanks or posting and uploading the videos, it's definitely helpful. =)

  5. Anonymous3/25/2012

    Hi my name is Jonathan

    After I watched these videos, I realized how the plastic damage not only the on ecosystem, but also the economy. I know plastic bottle takes a long time to decompose. First of all we think it will not be a problem when it float on the ocean, but we are wrong. Plastic bottle leaks out toxic chemicals and cause the change of ecosystem, and effect fishing industries, and tourisms.

  6. Anonymous3/26/2012

    Hello My name is Ryan Ransom.

    I am a student A Christchurch School and I participate in Dr. Dean Goodwins Global Environmental Science class. It is sad to see that we pollute the ocean with so many plastic bottles. We are damaging the ocean wildlife (as well as the food chain) with al the plastic that is getting into the ocean. Many fish are becoming contaminated with the toxins that are coming from the plastic. This is a huge issue that i think we need to tackles asap.

  7. Anonymous3/26/2012

    Whenever I think about ocean disasters I think about oil, but after reading this website and watching the videos I believe that we have a bigger problem in ocean and that’s the trash that’s being heavily dumped into the water. There is so much trash in the waters that animals and marine life encounter every day. When I think about the trash and plastic just lying in the middle the ocean, I think about all the fish that swim through it. Think about it, if you have a fish swim through and encounter the plastic substances then eventually another will be infected because a predator will eventually eat that fish which is stored with plastic toxins which will eventually hurt the food chain.
    By: jimmy Frierson

  8. Anonymous3/26/2012

    I think this a very eye-opening blog that will help people rethink how they control their waste management and other aspects of their daily lives. I know it has changed my perspective of many things

  9. Anonymous3/26/2012

    I feel that if we continue to dump our trash into the ocean we will eventually ruin the cycle of life that goes on there. There is nobody to blame but ourselves, the more trash we produce, the more goes into the ocean, therefore we as a human race should work on being more conservative and produce less trash and recycle more plastic. If plastic continues to sit in the ocean, toxins will get into the fish's systems and kill species little by little. Other animals can also be harmed by plastic if they digest it or are choked by it. We are the creators of the issue, so we should help find a solution to it.



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