Largest Ocean Clean-up in History: Great Pacific Garbage Patch
103 tonnes of plastic were removed from the 'great Pacific garbage patch' in June, setting the world record for the largest open ocean clean up in history. Again, this month, sailing vessel Kwai and her crew docked in Honolulu on August 5th after 35 days at sea with another 67 tonnes in their cargo hold full of 'ghost' fishing nets and toxic plastic debris.
'Ghost net' is the term given to fishing nets that are adrift in the ocean, carelessly left by or broken away from commercial fishing vessels. Ghost nets are a serious threat to ocean habitats and marine life as they cover large areas trapping in their nets everything they meet including Turtles, Dolphins and numerous other sea animals. Added to this is the masses of various plastic debris which is toxic to marine life.
The organisation responsible for the clean-up efforts is the not-for-profit Ocean Voyages Institute who have announced their next pledge to remove 1 million tonnes of plastic from the Ocean.
Ocean Voyages Institute Founder and Executive Director Mary T. Crowley states her group’s efforts are just getting started. “With plastic set to outnumber fish by 2040, we humans are responsible for the oceans collapsing in my lifetime, and we must set ambitious targets to tackle the problem of plastic in the ocean” continuing on to say “even with our record-setting clean-up, I know we need to do more, and our 1 million pound goal is my commitment to the essential undertaking of cleaning the oceans of plastic.”