Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-05-2012, 22:18   #46
Moderator... short for Cat Wrangler
 
sarafina's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Cal 28 Flush Deck
Posts: 5,559
Images: 56
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I dont see anything that complicated. It's like whale baleen..
No, It isn't. The whale is part of the food chain and is filtering for food. Which keeps the resources in the loop.

The filters you are suggesting be used would be filtering for very fine plastic particles and in the process would HAVE to filter the very same resources the whales (and other animals) are hunting.

If you scoop clear the Gyre, a HUGE area, you will leave a marine desert, with the critical top layer of marine life swept away with the plastic.

The top few feet of the ocean house the HUGE majority of the ocean's life forms.

There is no way I can see that you could do one task, remove the plastic, without damaging the balance needed to support that food chain.

I don't think there is a simple answer...
__________________

__________________
Sara

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
sarafina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2012, 22:27   #47
Registered User
 
Sailor g's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott

Am I the only one here who is completely boggled by the concept that it would be easy to collect the plastic without causing great harm to the marine life??? For a start, take a look at some of the most plentiful species out in the vicinity of the gyre.

If you try to harvest the semi-submerged plastic, you will harvest and kill these living creatures. It's not just the jellys -- consider the plankton and similar lifeforms, many of which are the same size and density as the plastics you would be scooping up.

I'm all for people trying to devise clever methods to clean the plastic out of the sea, but the concepts that I've seen so far appear to be based on a complete misunderstanding of the problem.

No, you're not the only one. I'm not saying it would be easy. And I don't think anyone here got a contract to start cleaning the gyre-yet This is discussion or maybe more likely wishing it could be so.. I agree we need to look at the consequences to the fixes. Many times our fixes cause more problems.

The links I included with scientists discussing cleaning the gyre shows the challenges- but I don't think that ideas can't be discussed or we should give up looking at ways to clean up the mess. Even if only reducing it. We have solved so many difficult problems in the past. This needs all of us working on a solution. Solutions arise from free discussions-often because the person 'doesn't understand it can't be done.'

Stopping plastics pollution at the source is first priority-such as using a biodegradeable plastic- like material and recycling what's out there now. The water bottles have reduced the amount of plastic used because of pressure-we need to keep it going. Sunchips stopped making their biodegradeable bags because the were loud when handled. Too bad. They needed to stick to their goals.

Bobandconnie said it very well. It causes me great pain to think of the problem and how little I can do. I have children who I hope could enjoy the world as I have-but we sure have messed it up. I was at the first Earth Day (1969) and have seen many problems improve enormously so I still have hope we can beat this. It just lasts so long.
__________________

__________________
Sailor g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 00:15   #48
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 3,538
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
But what about the Atlantic? Doesn't it have a garbage patch.
Sail across it and watch the plastic bottles, fishing floats and general trash float by. It is a garbage patch.
__________________
conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 01:12   #49
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,415
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

So where does the stuff come from? The source! Never see plastic in local waters of the highly urbanized waters of the San Francisco estuary. If I was to guess (without any factual data), I'd say eastern Asia.
__________________
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 02:58   #50
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott
The only positive thing I can say about them is that they would likely break down long before they had a chance to do much harm.
This is the core of the problem. PlAstics do NOT break down. Most have lifespans in the millions of years. What they do is break into smaller and smaller particles interfering with ever more fundamental parts of the food chain. They are being mistaken for plankton by marine life.

Regarding processing without harm. It is very doable. For example you can process only sub surface water...

Also you may have an image of giant sucking tubes that destroy all life in the filtering process... There are many other options and tech available that can process with minimal harm including not harming larger marine mammals.

As you mention environmental problems are always best tackled at the source however in this case the existing waste need to be dealt with as it is causing havoc and over time will cause even greater havoc.

Think of plastics like nuclear waste, they have an even longer half life....
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 02:59   #51
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey

Yeah! No more tsunami's. But what about the Atlantic? Doesn't it have a garbage patch.
My understanding is that there are 5? garbage gyres but none soarge and dense as the pacific one...
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 03:20   #52
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

I would have thought that the easy answer is to suck out the garbage from the densest part of the patch (the centre?) on a regular basis, as and when it becomes dense enough again (basically using the ocean to collect the plastic debris - as it does already) - rather than do so on the whole area. Obviously will be a lot of dead stuff - but as it is for the greater good, then everything has to pay a price - but it wouldn't kill everything in the whole area.

Besides, last time I checked Plankton don't have Nukes.
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 03:37   #53
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Just did some more reading on the ideas around cleaning the patch

Here is a decent article

http://science.howstuffworks.com/env...age-patch1.htm

Doesn't look good. I didn't realise that once the plastic photo degrades into micro plastic it can then descend down over 100meters. So to really address the problem we would have to filter the top 100meters of the gyre?

Wow, not feeling positive about a solution now....
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 04:48   #54
Registered User
 
anjou's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Malvernshire, on the sunny side of the hill.
Boat: 50' steel canal and river cruiser
Posts: 1,905
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Ironically this was mentioned last night on tv
@ 25 million tons of plastic are dumped in the worlds oceans each year. When UV and waves break it down into beads, it settles on the sea bed in layers and are estimated will form rock layers in millions of years time.

If it could be harvested, it can be turned into oil by boiling it down to a liquid. 1kg of plastic makes 1kg of oil. This oil can be burned as it is as a heating fuel or turned into diesel with a little refinment.
__________________
www.amy-artimis.blogspot.com
anjou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 05:24   #55
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Just curious... do those hugh barges full of trash still head down the Hudson River from New York City out to sea and dump their cargo in to the ocean? Capt Phil
Don't think so. They mostly truck it to huge landfills in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 05:48   #56
mrm
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Poland, EU
Boat: crew on Bavaria 38 Cruiser
Posts: 651
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
There is no way I can see that you could do one task, remove the plastic, without damaging the balance needed to support that food chain.

I don't think there is a simple answer...
Agreed.

One possible way might be to introduce a strain of plastic eating bacteria into the area. There are strains of bacteria feeding on crude oil, so with a bit of genetic engineering a strain which decomposes/digests some plastics should be obtainable. This has its own set of problems though and would require great care and forethought. One side effect might make composite boat owners quite unhappy...
__________________
mrm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 05:59   #57
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,311
Images: 75
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrm View Post
Agreed.

One possible way might be to introduce a strain of plastic eating bacteria into the area. There are strains of bacteria feeding on crude oil, so with a bit of genetic engineering a strain which decomposes/digests some plastics should be obtainable. This has its own set of problems though and would require great care and forethought. One side effect might make composite boat owners quite unhappy...
how about a strain of gm golden staph bacteria
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 07:48   #58
Senior Cruiser
 
Blue Stocking's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Georges, Bda
Boat: Rhodes Reliant 41ft
Posts: 4,116
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

This may be a mixed blessing, in that more surface cover is provided for the small marine life which requires surface cover to develop.
I am told by the charter fishermen that they troll near the beds of Sargassum weed around here, because thats where the big Pelagic fish hangout, picking off the smaller ones.
Size boost to the cycle.
__________________
so many projects--so little time !!
Blue Stocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 10:24   #59
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,874
Images: 4
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
This is the core of the problem. PlAstics do NOT break down. Most have lifespans in the millions of years. What they do is break into smaller and smaller particles interfering with ever more fundamental parts of the food chain. They are being mistaken for plankton by marine life.

Regarding processing without harm. It is very doable. For example you can process only sub surface water...

Also you may have an image of giant sucking tubes that destroy all life in the filtering process... There are many other options and tech available that can process with minimal harm including not harming larger marine mammals.

As you mention environmental problems are always best tackled at the source however in this case the existing waste need to be dealt with as it is causing havoc and over time will cause even greater havoc.

Think of plastics like nuclear waste, they have an even longer half life....
Please re-read what I wrote. I was saying that the debris collection inventions (all still on the drawing board) would break down. I'll be glad if they break down because they will probably do more harm than good to the marine environment.

Sure, you can fairly easily manage to not scoop up the larger fish. That's not the problem. If you do try to strain out everything from the top few meters that has the characteristics of this degraded plastic, you will also have collected most of the plankton that the larger species feed on (plankton includes jellys, seaweed, larvae, etc). You will scoop up or damage the juvenile fish. You will have disrupted the entire ecosystem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Old Jersey
I would have thought that the easy answer is to suck out the garbage from the densest part of the patch (the centre?) on a regular basis, as and when it becomes dense enough again (basically using the ocean to collect the plastic debris - as it does already) - rather than do so on the whole area. Obviously will be a lot of dead stuff - but as it is for the greater good, then everything has to pay a price - but it wouldn't kill everything in the whole area.
There is no densest part of the patch. Or if there is, it moves with the season, with the winds, etc. There are eddies -- it's pretty chaotic, and the density is only statistically greater at the "center".

Take a look at the photos I posted way back in this thread. That's what it looks like in the gyre. If all you've seen are the photos put out there by reporters and advocacy groups, then you have no idea of the reality, and all your well-meaning proposals for garbage collection are misguided at best.

There are to be sure occasional clumps of floating debris, and I doubt if I've personally seen the worst, but these are small and far between -- no more than a few square feet of tangled net and floats. There is no "Texas-sized" island, and I doubt if there is even a Lichtenstein-sized region of sub-surface debris with a density that would make collection even a remote possibility.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2012, 10:34   #60
Registered User
 
svBeBe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: from Houston, TX; currently berthed in Barcelona, headed west
Boat: Amel SM 53 - BeBe
Posts: 946
Re: Pacific Garbage Dump

Last year I read about a study that had been performed on the Pacific Garbage Patch. Much to the researchers' surprise, they found that plastic actually is degrading to microscopic size particles at a far more rapid pace than ever imagined. And the Patch has created an entire eco-system beneath it, found lots of fish and marine creatures of all sizes. The idea of collecting this plastic is ludicrous. The first Asian typhoon will create another Patch.

Judy
__________________

__________________
svBeBe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.