Speaking of marine conservation…

Tom James @ 27-08-2009

garbage_in_ocean…as we were, here is news of the first incursion into the collossal garbage patch that has collected in the Pacific Ocean:

Scientists surveyed plastic distribution and abundance, taking samples for analysis in the lab and assessing the impacts of debris on marine life.

Before this research, little was known about the size of the “garbage patch” and the threats it poses to marine life and the gyre’s biological environment.

On August 11th, the researchers encountered a large net entwined with plastic and various marine organisms; they also recovered several plastic bottles covered with ocean animals, including large barnacles.

“Finding so much plastic there was shocking,” said Goldstein. “How could there be this much plastic floating in a random patch of ocean–a thousand miles from land?”

This reminds me of the great junk armada depicted in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

[via Physorg][image from Physorg]

Be Sociable, Share!

3 Responses to “Speaking of marine conservation…”

  1. Don McArthur says:

    Everything turns out to be part of an earlier Stephenson novel. Eg. Here’s the start of the primer in “The Diamond Age.”

  2. hycgq says:

    All roads lead to Rome.

  3. Khannea Suntzu says:

    In diamond age it got worse – a big percentage of the crap was manufacted to be lighter than air and started floating in the atmosphere in specks and ribbons of material.

    I am pretty sure ‘in a few years’ we will already see (next to this problem becoming even worse) life adapting to the garbage, and in some cases benefiting. Things like coagulate slabs of polysterene serving as nesting surface for seagulls, that sort of thing, with the gulls going as far as to purposefully string their islands together. OR marine animals using plastic stuff to purposefully capture other marine animals. Like nets.

    At the same time, as fish and higher organisms in the oceans are eradicated into nonexistence by 24/7 sweatshop trawler factory ships jellyfish “which do not have an obvious economic value yet” fill the gap. Japan is under attack by jellyfish ZOMFG.

    I am absolutely sure I’ll see some kind of synergy between the jellyfish and stuff like plastic sixpack holder. Google that last thing – all top links refer to pacificfloatinggarbagezmofg. All this stuff is ever so evocative in the public imagination. Hell, when I fantasize I can see myself walking precariously over aggrgate flat icebergs of plastic garbage twenty years from now.

    Pacific garbage tourism? “Look ma a jellywish! No timmy, thats an inflated condom”.