Image via 5gyres
Estimated to be twice the size of Texas, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has received the most attention from us and other media outlets. However, it isn't the only trash gyre marring our oceans. In fact, there are four others, all of which are in need of the same attention from researchers that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has garnered. Luckily, the 5 Gyres project is bringing much needed focus to the other swirls of plastic soup contaminating the oceans of the world, including expeditions to the North and South Atlantic Gyres.
Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen - the eco-warriors behind JUNKraft and JUNKride - are launching 5 Gyres, a new project working in conjunction with such partners as The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, The Surfrider Foundation, Green Ambassadors, Wend Magazine and other notables to continue research on plastic accumulation in our oceans.
They're taking a brand new angle to the research, however, which so far has focused on trying to quantify what is floating in the water and consumed by animals. Instead, their focus on this voyage will be to bust the myth that plastic pollution is only a major issue in the Pacific Rim, and look farther into the negative impacts of plastic debris on human health. After all, if fish are eating it, and we're eating the fish....
Also, the duo is looking for plastic in the actual ocean sediment, using a gravity corer Marcus is building.
The major concern here is that if chemicals from the plastics remain in the tissues of fish and then we consume the fish, how might that impact our health as plastics work their way up the food chain? The project hopes to uncover science behind this, as well as bring loads of attentions to the massive problem that plastics in our oceans has become.
January and August will see voyages from the team, and they'll have a blog at sea, with images and videos about their journey and discoveries. Follow along and learn more at 5Gyres.org.
More on Ocean Trash Gyres
Isn't it Time to Clean Up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
Researchers Reach Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Hang Heads, Come Back Home
Video: Bad News and Trash Prevade Pacific Gyre