http://www.cookiesound.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/garbage-in-ocean.jpg Gyre of marine debris Definition of marine debris: Man made garbage that has been accidentally or deliberately littered into a body of water Common misconception, not just a few pieces of trash One of the leading causes of pollution in our oceans 6 Source of these debris? Estimated 20% ocean sources 80% land sources 7 These can include: Waste from ships/ fishing vessels Sewage related Litter at beaches/coastlines 5 Page 6
North Pacific Gyre The “convergence zone” 20 o N and 40 o S Latitude 100-300 miles off coast of gyres center 2 Accumulation Zones Western Garbage Patch Japan Eastern Garbage Patch Hawaii and California
Undetermined, only estimated Currents Distribution and volume 100 million tons up Expanding 100 feet down Not dense Natural Disasters Effect Size Tsunamis Indonesia in December 2004 Japan 2011 Typhoons Philippines 2013
In 2012 researchers began looking at the effects of the Tsunami in Japan of 2011. Estimate of debris location from Japan’s Tsunami
14 researchers 2600 nautical miles from Majuro, Japan to Tokyo in 19 days Each team member was assigned a type of item to log This research contributed to the study of the Garbage Patch Density. 2 http://www.algalita.org/uploads/2012_asia_pacific_expedition_report.pdf
Plastic Debris Fergusson (1974) for instance, then a member of the Council of the British Plastics Federation and a Fellow of the Plastics Institute, stated that “plastics litter is a very small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an eyesore” Does not biodegrade, it photodegrades Photodegrades into small particulates
Plastic Debris (cont’d) Constitutes for 90% of all garbage floating in the world ~200 billion plastic produced each year and 10% ends up in the ocean 30 million tons of plastic is produced in the U.S. annually 70% of it sink to the ocean floor and the rest floats Affects marine life, fishing, and tourism In some areas plastic outweighs phytoplankton 6:1
Ingestion of Plastics Albatross: Albatrosses live almost their entire lives at sea, coming to land only to nest Adult albatrosses feed on fish, crustaceans, and squid, and often follow ships, feeding on discarded food. Parents feed their young by regurgitating previously digested food into their mouths.
Rapid Increase of plastic ingestion Since the 1980’s amount has increased dramatically Not all victims are discovered Thus estimates are likely low 1
Entanglement In Plastic Debris Discarded fishing gear – “ghost nets” Curious young seal pups & plastic loops cycle
Plastic Scrubbers Small fragments of plastic (~0.5 mm) derived from hand cleaners, cosmetic preparations and airblast cleaning media Studies found in New Zealand & Canada using airblasting, found polyethylene and polystyrene residues
Swirling pools of garbage we consume! PCB’s DDT and other toxic chemicals cannot dissolve in the water but are absorbed by plastic. One study reported over 84 pieces of plastic in the stomachs of fish samples from the garbage patch The same toxins in the plastic are in the fish tissues. We EAT these fish and their toxins too!!
Prevention so far… US House of Representatives recently passed an Amendment Act to senate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration must establish a program and assign the United states Coast Guard to assist. The program must identify and determine sources of the pollution. It must reduce and prevent the marine debris. Also determine its impacts on the marine environment and navigation safety The program must determine and prevent land-based sources of pollution all in coordinance with non-federal entities
To prevent expansion and promote reduction of the garbage patch we must…. Responsibility of drifting garbage must be clarified Cooperation of all nations and determine an international policy Raise public awareness of the problem on an international level Encourage international organizations already in place to expand efforts as well as hold guilty parties accountable. Promote and support Research and data collection to prove these methods work and are worth the time and money invested.
Marine Debris is important The Pacific Garbage patch has doubled in size in a decade Islands of Garbage are appearing all over the globe The Pacific Garbage patch is just one of 5 large gyres that are believed to be collecting large quantities of garbage and human waste products. We are what we eat … This is becoming a large issue affecting the oceans, wildlife, and US!
References Samantha Brown Slides 2-7, 10, 14, 15, 18 Blight L.K., and A.E. Burger. 1997. Occurrence of plastic particles in seabirds from the eastern North Pacific. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 34 (5): 323-325. 2. http://www.algalita.org/uploads/2012_asia_pacific_expedition_report.pdf page 9 http://www.algalita.org/uploads/2012_asia_pacific_expedition_report.pdf 3. http://www.algalita.org/pdf/PLASTIC%20DEBRIS%20ENGLISH.pdf http://www.algalita.org/pdf/PLASTIC%20DEBRIS%20ENGLISH.pdf 4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Marine Debris in the North Pacific." A Summary of Existing Information and Identification of Data Gaps (2011): 6-7. Web. http://www.epa.gov/region9/marine-debris/pdf/MarineDebris-NPacFinalAprvd.pdf 5. Allsopp, Michelle, Adam Walters, David Santillo, and Paul Johnston. "Green Peace." Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans (n.d.): 5+. Web.. 6. Allsopp, Michelle, Adam Walters, David Santillo, and Paul Johnston. "Green Peace." Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans (n.d.): 5+. Web.. 7. Gregory M.R. and P.G. Ryan. 1997. Pelagic plastics and other seaborne persistent synthetic debris: a review of Southern Hemisphere perspectives. Prepared for AB 259 (Krekorian), AB 820 (Karnette), and AB 904 (Feuer) by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation
References Carissa Vuong Slides 8, 9, 11-13, 16, 17, 19, 20 Derraik, Jose GB. "The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review." Marine pollution bulletin 44.9 (2002): 842-852. Silverman, Jacob. "Why is the world biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?" 19 September 2007. HowStuffWorks. Barnes, David KA. "Biodiversity: invasions by marine life on plastic debris." Nature 416.6883 (2002): 808- 809.
References Angelica Paulino Slides 21-24 Kazarian, Ursula. "Islands of Garbage Continue to Grow in Pacific." Sustainable Development Law & Policy 7.1 (2006): 21. Hoshaw, Lindsey. "Afloat in the ocean, expanding islands of trash." New York Times 9 (2009).