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Old 13-02-2013, 10:55   #16
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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Originally Posted by scoundrel View Post
just curious if any cruisers after have encountered the Garbage Patch, and if so, what was it like ?
It looks like water. If you were to construct an extremely fine mesh net and trawl it for several miles, you will collect about a teaspoonful of small plastic particulate. Occasionally, you will see other stuff floating out there in the oceans of the world - I've seen a sailboard, garbage bags, fishing floats, foam chunks, even full-size appliances - but there is no visible Texas-size island of garbage. That's not to say that the plastic particulate isn't harmful - it's ingested at the low end of the food chain and has negative effects all the way up. I wish the environmentalists would not resort to lies, in trying to bring attention to an important topic.
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Old 13-02-2013, 12:04   #17
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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I marked a student's paper down last spring for using this foundation as a source to back up a claim about the garbage patch. The person who started this foundation, so-called Captain Moore, was apparently returning home to Southern California from the Transpac race when he "discovered" (some would say "invented") the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. He has set up a foundation to study it, but at the best conducts citizen science, and at worst engages in hyperbole about the real problem of plastic degree in ocean waters. I understand he sells a lot of books.

My class wanted to discuss this, since so many of them had heard about a Texas-size patch of floating plastic, so I told them that if anyone could bring in a peer-reviewed paper describing the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, I would take the entire class out for ice cream rather than delivering the scheduled lecture the following week. They were unable to do so, coming up with nothing more authoritative than a story on Good Morning America.

It's interesting that peer-reviewed science makes no mention of this enormous floating garbage patch, which is supposedly visible from satelites. For example, this paper, Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments published by some noted oceanographers in a reputable journal, doesn't even mention the North Pacific Gyre as an area of special concern. They seem more troubled by concentrations of plastics in the Caribbean.

That ocean-born plastic debris is a problem is apparent to anyone who regularly strolls along an ocean beach. I hope it's less a problem these days than in the recent past when ships were permitted to jettison plastic garbage while offshore. Equally significant for oceanic health is that informed consumers are now eschewing plastic shopping bags because of their environmental toll.

To the best of my knowledge the Agalita Foundation is not connected with any academic institution. The Scripps Institute of Oceanography, connected with the University of California, has conducted some informal research to investigate the garbage patch, putting together a "web expedition" called SEAPLEX, the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastics Expedition. Their informal results can be found here: :: SCRIPPS SEARCH :::
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Old 13-02-2013, 12:14   #18
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
How do you know?
Wheres your reference?
Wheres your evidence?

It is twice the size of Texas! It moves north and south as the High pressure area does it's thing

http://scienceray.com/earth-sciences...garbage-patch/

Search on "Pacific Garbage Patch" you'll get 632,000 results, some with pictures!
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Old 13-02-2013, 15:15   #19
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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It is twice the size of Texas! It moves north and south as the High pressure area does it's thing

Facts About the Great Pacific Garbage Patch | Scienceray

Search on "Pacific Garbage Patch" you'll get 632,000 results, some with pictures!
John, please do a little more research. The site you show is, to be charitable, rather hyperbolic.

Here are the tracks VALIS has sailed through the region from 2003 - 2010:


Since I put this image together I have made one more mainland-Hawaii round-trip, this time from San Francisco, to Hawaii, to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

We've seen trash, and too much of it. But there has been nothing remotely approaching what these "raising awareness" organizations are claiming. On last summer's trip from Hawaii to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, I invited two marine debris researchers who were working with NOAA to join the crew. They spent several hours every day scanning the water and logging any debris they saw. I had wanted to tow a sampling net, but at the last minute they couldn't get one.

Anyway, at no time did we see anything resembling a consolidated debris field. There were areas with more trash, and with less. Sometimes we saw stuff every minute or five, and other times we would sail for a day without seeing any visible debris. There were a few items that were probably tsunami-related, but we didn't see much of that.

I don't like trash, at sea or on land. We humans should take better care of our planet. But too many people are spouting half-truths and outright lies about the Pacific Garbage Patch. Perhaps they believe this stuff, and I suppose I should understand their concern. I am afraid, though, that ill-considered "solutions" may cause more harm than good, and will detract from honest science and research, and from efforts that may have a true positive effect.

Just tell the truth!
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Old 13-02-2013, 15:33   #20
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

As stated above, it is not just giant pieces of trash floating around. Much of it is tiny and suspended in the water.

You've all heard of Midway Atoll I'm sure....

What about the plight of its resident Albatrosses????






Nah, doesn't exist....

For more enlightenment based on reality, see this: http://www.chrisjordan.com
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Old 13-02-2013, 15:36   #21
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

Over the last 10 years we've done one LA-Hilo passage, one Midway-Sitka passage, and one Oahu-SF passage. For both of the return trips we have observed a higher density of trash somewhere about mid-passage than we see on other passages (such as the outbound trip, or Mexico-Marquesas, or Tahiti-Hawaii). In no case have we seen any large, dense patch of trash, but we have seen more floating garbage on the passages through the north Pacific than on other passages. Leads me to believe that the Gyre can indeed concentrate the floating debris (to be expected I guess), but the stories on the density of same seem to contain a lot of hyperbole.

I do know that we have collected more interesting trash on these passages than any others. That's only anecdotal though, no peer review.

One question has always perplexed me though; how come the empty Suntory bottles always have the caps on?

For a little science, see here: http://sio.ucsd.edu/Expeditions/Seaplex/. Not much peer review, but the pictures tell the same story, clumps of garbage in an otherwise open sea, with the average density higher than in other locations.
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Old 13-02-2013, 16:05   #22
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

Marine Debris Program - Marine Debris Info

This NOAA site puts a pretty balanced (maybe understated?) look at the thing. Sailing two tracks and not seeing much isn't definitive at all. That ocean is huge. The north pacific gyre is the one most studied but there are other gyres around the globe. Just consider the number of collisions the boats in the Vendee Globe have had with UFO's and it puts some light on the severity of the problem.

Look at the pictures first and then read the article.
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Old 13-02-2013, 16:10   #23
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

Someone mentioned the Caribbean and I was amazed in 1995 when on Cozumel to see the amount of garbage on the south and east shore. Trash, much of it thrown overboard from the cruise ships.
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Old 13-02-2013, 16:12   #24
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

Here is a quote from the NOAA site.

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What’s in a name? - The name “garbage patch” is a misnomer. There is no island of trash forming in the middle of the ocean nor a blanket of trash that can be seen with satellite or aerial photographs. This is likely because much of the debris found here is small bits of floating plastic not easily seen from a boat.
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Old 13-02-2013, 16:25   #25
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

Paul,
Please forgive me for taking issue with you, but I did do some reseach. If you would click on the following. You would find hundreds of articles that deal with the garbage patch within the Pacific High.

pacific garbage patch facts - Bing

I question claims that people have sailed thru the Pacific high as it is an area to be avoided as, by all the accounts I have heard there is no wind.

Skirting the Pacific High | Cruising World

The high pressure area moves north in the summer and south in the winter it also moves back and forth east and west, so sometimes people sail where the high was - not is. The fact remains sir, there is a garbage patch and it is hugh
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Old 13-02-2013, 16:39   #26
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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Paul,
Please forgive me for taking issue with you, but I did do some reseach.
John, if you really want to do some research, you might begin by clicking on the blog below Paul's signature. You'll find that he's raced the Pacific Cup to Hawaii every consecutive race going back to 2006, and that he's served as the communications boat for the last three races.

If anyone on this forum knows how to avoid the Pacific High, it's Paul.
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Old 13-02-2013, 17:34   #27
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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John, if you really want to do some research, you might begin by clicking on the blog below Paul's signature. You'll find that he's raced the Pacific Cup to Hawaii every consecutive race going back to 2006, and that he's served as the communications boat for the last three races.

If anyone on this forum knows how to avoid the Pacific High, it's Paul.
So Bash, you're saying that I should ignore the hundreds of articles I can access on the internet, in favor of Paul's experiences?

Or I should ignore being in the sailing community in the SF Bay area for 15 years and reading many reports and talking to people who had done several Trans Pacs?

Or maybe I should discount the 22 years I spent as a liveabord or the 10 years I spent cruising?

Besides we're talking about the Garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific high - not Paul's experiences

At 72 I may have had a senior moment, but I don't thing so, because I went back and reread the articles. Did you?
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Old 13-02-2013, 17:50   #28
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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So Bash, you're saying that I should ignore the hundreds of articles I can access on the internet, in favor of Paul's experiences?

Or I should ignore being in the sailing community in the SF Bay area for 15 years and reading many reports and talking to people who had done several Trans Pacs?

Or maybe I should discount the 22 years I spent as a liveabord or the 10 years I spent cruising?

Besides we're talking about the Garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific high - not Paul's experiences

At 72 I may have had a senior moment, but I don't thing so, because I went back and reread the articles. Did you?
What we have here is an information literacy problem. The fact that there are hundreds of articles about the garbage patch gets you nowhere. Google on unicorns or yeti and you'll get over a million hits, but that doesn't mean they exist.

Never confuse quantity for quality.

Again, I'm certainly concerned about the quantity of plastic debris in the ocean. But this narrative of a floating garbage patch larger than Texas floating about the North Pacific Gyre is completely wrong. It doesn't help the cause of conserving the ocean environment to falsify data about the extent of the problem.
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Old 13-02-2013, 17:52   #29
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

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So Bash, you're saying that I should ignore the hundreds of articles I can access on the internet, in favor of Paul's experiences?
Well, I personally ignore the hundreds of articles that I can access on the internet... about the little green men in Roswell NM. There may be an analogy lurking here!

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Old 13-02-2013, 17:56   #30
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Re: Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

I Fished the north Pacific for a good portion of my young life ! Im 74 now !all I can say is Ive been seeing stuff in the water for ever !! way back it used to be glass floats and attached netting ect ect. lots of junk in the water is nothing new ! it's just that theres more folks to dump and lose things in the water !! Floods, hurrycanes! and all the natrual things dump a bunch sure! but stupid folks are the worse at dumping !Just be following your long line and be behind a Cruise ship sometime ! and see the stuff floating in the water behind them !! I know that some commercial fishermen also dump in the ocean, not all do the same as some cruisers do a little dumping! but on the whole those of us who live to sail or motor cruise the oceans of the world try to keep any dumping to a bare minimun, and dispose of it ashore when we get there !! just sayin theres always been stuff in the water, theres just MORE these days ! and we all need to try to reduce it as much as we can !!
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