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I learned about the Eastern Garbage Patch, also called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, from studies the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, based in Long Beach, California, has conducted while trolling it seven times over the past decade. The foundation’s fieldwork has revealed an ever-growing synthetic sea where particles concentrate by season, trash commutes in the currents from far-off places, and plastic outweighs zooplankton, retarding ocean life. Fascinating stuff. Captain Charles Moore founded the Algalita foundation and commands its research vessel, the Alguita. (Maddeningly similar names, I know.)
Moore first discovered the garbage patch when he crossed the Pacific in 1997 after competing in the Transpacific Yacht Race. Since then he has been passionate about investigating it and creating awareness about its significance—and the significance of the Eastern Garbage Patch is enormous. His findings have gone a long way toward educating the science community, if not yet the public, on the magnitude of marine pollution and its impact on life—all life.
The patch has been growing, along with ocean debris worldwide, tenfold every decade since the 1950s, said Chris Parry, public education program manager with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco.
Ocean current patterns may keep the flotsam stashed in a part of the world few will ever see, but the majority of its content is generated onshore, according to a report from Greenpeace last year titled "Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans."
The report found that 80 percent of the oceans' litter originated on land. While ships drop the occasional load of shoes or hockey gloves into the waters (sometimes on purpose and illegally), the vast majority of sea garbage begins its journey as onshore trash.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is particularly dangerous for birds and marine life, said Warner Chabot, vice president of the Ocean Conservancy, an environmental group.
Sea turtles mistake clear plastic bags for jellyfish. Birds swoop down and swallow indigestible shards of plastic. The petroleum-based plastics take decades to break down, and as long as they float on the ocean's surface, they can appear as feeding grounds.
"These animals die because the plastic eventually fills their stomachs," Chabot said. "It doesn't pass, and they literally starve to death."
Originally posted by intrepid
Sharks are an invaluable part of Earth's entire ecosystem and we are bringing them to extinction.
Sharkwater is a 2007 Canadian documentary film written and directed by Rob Stewart, who also plays the lead role. In the film, Stewart seeks to deflate current attitudes about sharks, and exposes how the voracious shark-hunting industry is driving them to extinction.
Filmed in high definition video, Sharkwater explores the densest shark populations in the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption of the shark-hunting industry in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
He explains in this that by eradicating the sharks it would allow the fish that feed on oxygen producing creature to go on unabated. Over 2/3 of the Earth's oxygen comes from the oceans.
This movie is visually stunning and also disturbing because of our barbarous behavior. Here's the trailer:
If you are concerned about the planet, this is a must see movie.
Originally posted by TheAgentNineteen
I travel to Florida and the Bahamas often, and as an accomplished individual of both Surface, and Undersea activities, I dare say that the sharks in this Tropical Caribbean/Atlantic Region have been exploding in Population. As a matter of fact, many Marine Biologists have stated that if anything is being decimated, it is rather the Shark's Natural Prey of certain Fish Species, and many of the Shark attacks are a result of Inland progression due to this very factor.
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by TheAgentNineteen
"Rebound effect" perhaps.
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) took administrative action in 1993 to halt finning in Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters after it became apparent the practice was reducing shark populations, but the DOC's ruling did not include fishing in the Pacific, where finning was less prevalent a decade ago.
The map is incomplete. It contains all unprovoked fatal attacks since 2000 and some non fatal attacks.