Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The debris front

Day Three off Hilo,
Sam said she was glad that we had left the rough weather behind us as ORV Alguita spent all night motorsailing from the southern face of the Big Island, where new real estate is being made by Madame Pele, the volcano goddess, to the edge of the plankton bloom northeast of Hilo. We arrived at first light and began sampling about 40 miles offshore. We trawled for an hour, then ran northwest along the front for an hour and sampled again. The first two times we did this we caught moderate amounts of plastic mixed with typical planktonic organisms. The third trawl was different. It had a brownish hue and contained more small plankton and more plastic. It seemed that there was a relationship between greater plankton content and more debris. We wondered if the brown hue was indeed caused by a phytoplankton bloom. Perhaps we can ID some of the species in this trawl at the UH Hilo Marine Science Department's wet lab. Tina Chau of KGMB 9 in Honolulu has been following this voyage and our work with the Marine Debris class at the University. She just aired a great special that we saw in the conference room at the University on our small portable TV while writing this blog. Students analyzing samples were interviewed and our findings today made it on air the same night.
Pretty amazing,
Aloha from UH Hilo
Captain Charles Moore


Jacob Tanenbaum said...

about how long does it take to finish your mission?When did it set sail?How many people are helping?Did you find any coral yet?did you ever do somthing like this before.

Eoghan [owen] McGee

king said...

good like on your mission!

Jacob Tanenbaum said...



Jacob Tanenbaum said...

How much plastic did you find since you started the search of amount? also how many crew members are on the ship?

Jacob Tanenbaum said...

also you guy rock for saving the earth one day at a time keep up the good work guys

Jacob Tanenbaum said...

Can you see the big island from where you are? So thanks if you can answer my question!

a student at school

ORV Alguita said...

Thank you for your interest! ORV Alguita is currently in port in Hilo on the Big Island of HA. This week the new crew will be meeting to make plans for the big upcoming voyage. The departure date from HA is currently set for January 21 and ORV Alguita's crew will be headed NE to sample for marine debris during the month long return voyage to Long Beach, CA. Samples from the previous voyage are currently being analyzed and we will let you know as soon as we have the results! Check back in for the voyage in January!
-Vessel Support-