Pacific Plastic Gyre Cleanup Results Almost In

Project Kaisei Capturing Plastic Garbage Debris Photo

Image via: Project Kasei on Flickr
Project Kaisei, the mission to research and figure out just what the heck we're going to do about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, made it to the Gyre just a few days ago. Their results: yep, there's a lot of plastic out there.
Kaisei and New Horizon Ships Great Pacific Plastic Gyre Photo

Two ships, the 174' New Horizon, owned by Scripps Oceanography Institute and the 150' Kaisei left San Diego and San Francisco, respectively, during the first few days in August for a month-long voyage through the area. Many have said that an actual cleanup of the Gyre would be mission impossible and would bankrupt any nation, not to mention decimate marine life while the nets sweep through the area. Thus the Kaisei and New Horizon are out to figure out what is possible in terms of cleanup, the types of materials found out in the ocean and ultimately how to do we stop the flow of garbage into our oceans.

Plastic Particles Found in Nets in Great Pacific Plastic Gyre Photo

Plastic particles found in every one of the net samples.

Both ships will return to port and submit their findings for processing and results should be available at the end of September. Thus far, both ships can say that they have been collecting plastic since they left port but the volume has definitely increased the closer they get to the gyre. The two ships met up on August 12th and then parted ways to continue on their expedition.

You can follow the mission in real time at Project Kaisei. Or you can view more photos of the trip on the Project Kaisei Flickr page.

More on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Waiter...There's a Fly in My Plastic Soup
Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Trash Vortex Could Signify Future of Our Oceans
Great Pacific Garbage Patch (slideshow)

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