Update from the Sea Dragon’s crew-What does a garbage patch look like?
May 11 2012
With everything back on deck we haul in the Hi-speed trawl. Like we suspected, there are a few dozen particles of plastic ranging from the size of a pea to a grain of sand. This is the edge of the garbage patch. It’s not an island, nor is it easily visible, except for the random bottle, like the detergent bottle we found this morning. It’s mostly microplastic particles showing up endlessly in our nets, each the size of fish food, in every gyre, in every ocean, and also here.
Greetings from 21N,155E, where it’s hot and seas are calm, as expected. We made two debris sightings yesterday, which we collected.
5-11-12 Time 11:15 19.56N, 155.04E Small, green detergent bottle, approx. 20cm tall. Heavily fouled by marine life. Very degraded on the surface.
5-11-12 Time 17:15 20.31N, 155.11E Large foamed polystyrene cylinder, approximately 1 meter tall, almost the size of a 55 gallon drum. There was almost no fouling on this debris, perhaps because it is an unstable substrate, moving and rolling across the sea surface. Only 3 juvenille barnacles on it. Looked to be relatively clean and new. Typically foamed polystyrene degrades quickly at sea, becoming rounded on the edges first. This is not the case here.