Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Computer Says a Storms Brewing

35 knot winds! We pulled the 7th trawl out of the sea just in time. It's likely the last one for a couple of days, until a large low pressure system blows over us. We're finding more plastic in every surface sample we collect. We're heading to the center of the accumulation zone (28.5N,50W). From there we'll turn and sail to the Azores.

We use the manta trawl to skim the surface of the sea for micro-plastics. It’s working as expected, and the samples we're collecting look a lot like samples from the North Pacific Gyre. There are plenty of fragments of plastic in each trawl, but there’s little debris related to the fishing industry. In the Pacific we find plenty of lost nets, line and floats. The Atlantic Gyre appears different in this regard.

Winds are still howling. Our skipper, Clive Crosby, works with us to find the optimal course and speed so that we can get a trawl every 100 miles or less. Right now we’ve got the storm jib up. We’re moving slow, maybe 4 knots. Hopefully we’ll trawl tomorrow.

Click here to send a comment or question to the crew!


Anonymous said...

Hey this is Landan from Mrs. Smith's Marine Bio Class, will this low pressure system delay your time in anyway?

Anonymous said...

Hi this is Jasmine from West Anchorage High School's IB Environmental Systems class. If DDT is used to make different plastics, can that be absorbed by the fish?

Ms. H. Classroom Teacher said...

Thank you so much for posting the Good Morning America show! It was perfect for our classroom and really was helpful because it was simple and easy to understand. What really bothered us was that the animals are swallowing all that plastic. It's our fault that this is happening and we want to do what we can to help!

Leilah said...

Why do you think you are seeing less fishing gear in the Atlantic then in the Pacific? Is it because there is not as much fishing pressure or is there more fishing responsibility in the Atlantic then the Pacific. And are you seeing more American fishing equipment or Japanese
Job Well Done!

Mr. Kay's 3rd P. Marine Bio Class
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm a student from Santa Monica Hight School, CA with Mr. Kay's Marine Bio class. I was wondering what life is like waiting and trawling every once in a while. What do you hope to find and how should we clean it up?

Anonymous said...

hi i am Alex do u enjoy the studys that r brout up to u our come across.

Ms. H. Classroom Teacher said...

From Ms. H at BOCES Special Ed, Binghamton, NY

Again, we loved the tv show yesterday. My students were intrigued. Today we read your blog and were curious about the "Trigger Fish", so we searched about the fish to get more information about where it lives (habitat) and what it eats. We are excited about learning what a trigger fish has in common with a plastic bottle?? We'll have to stay tuned!

Ms. H. Classroom Teacher said...

Special Ed Students from BOCES, Binghamton, NY would like to know what was the largest fish or mammal that has been found to have plastic pieces inside of them? Thank you!

Ms. H. Classroom Teacher said...

BOCES, Binghamton, NY: Thank you for posting plastic videos. My students are beginning to understand the impact of "plastic usage" and how it effects every living thing around us!