The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

garbage-in-ocean

source: coolstacks.com

Trash in our oceans is a thing we should care about every day, not only on ocean’s day or during the earth day It’s a pervasive, and growing problem in every one of the planet’s oceans.

One perfect example, is the the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. This  is the popular name for concentrations of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.  Located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N. Most current estimates state that it is larger than the U.S. state of Texas The Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

Here are some facts you should know about these huge garbage concentrations in the ocean;

1) The volume of plastic debris in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre has increased by 100 times over the past 40 years.**

2) 90% of the collected fish had plastic waste in their stomachs. Researchers estimate that fish living at intermediate ocean depths in the North Pacific Region, ingest between 12,000 and 24,000 tons of plastic each year.**

3)The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is not the only marine region with large concentrations of plastic waste. Garbage patches have also been found in the North Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

4) The trash in the ocean’s has been broken down into small bits the size of a fingernail therefore garbage patch isn’t visible in satellite photos.A lot also floats just below the surface, or is obscured by plant and animal growth on the plastic.

5) Trash from land, (not ship garbage) accounts for 80% of marine debris*.

I found this interesting documentary from VICE about the North Pacific Gyre. It’s quite long, but if you want to look this problem a little bit closer, it’s worth it.

**According to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego
 *According to the Algalita Marine Research Institute.
With information from greenbang.com

@ivettemb & @jeffinergon

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