Plastic Ocean

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Captain Charles Moore, seafaring environmentalist and researcher, talks about discovering of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the summer of 1997, when he was sailing from Honolulu to California. He had stumbled upon the largest garbage dump on the planet-a spiral nebula where plastic outweighed zooplankton, the ocean's food base, by a factor of six to one. In Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Ocean Moore looks at the secret life and hidden properties of plastics—from milk jugs to polymer molecules small enough to penetrate human skin or be unknowingly inhaled.


Charles Moore

Comments [15]

Ed from Hoboken

A very interesting (and scary) story.. perhaps the anecdote lies here:

Nov. 09 2011 09:48 AM

We need to implement an immediate moratorium on fishing worldwide. Then, employ the fishing industry in the process of recovering the plastics from the sea. The fishing industry is phenomenally efficient. If the fishing industry can completely deplete the worlds fish stocks, certainly they would be able to recover a significant portion of the ocean's plastics.

The fishing industry is often subsidized anyway. Put them to work clearing the plastics instead of the fish.

Allow only artisinal fish harvesting according to the seasons of the sea. At least until stocks rebound...

Nov. 03 2011 12:50 PM
Jackson Couse from Queens

This essay from photographer Chris Jordan is an extremely powerful testament to the danger of this problem. Albatross full of plastic is very disturbing.

Nov. 03 2011 12:40 PM
Mark Naden from London

why can't the plastic be harvested and recycled?

Nov. 03 2011 12:35 PM
GEO from Astoria

Can these Plastic collecting islands work? Is Captain Moore involved. His name is used in the video clip.

Nov. 03 2011 12:34 PM

I get the vast quantities of plastic involved but can the ocean be cleaned?

Nov. 03 2011 12:33 PM
Nicole from nyc

Tha major issue is that we have so much wrapped in plastic in the first place. Beverage corporations used to reuse glass bottles instead of using plastic. Companies wrap and rewrap items in plastic packaging. Would you ask Captain Moore if he is working with any corporations to reduce their plastics?

Nov. 03 2011 12:31 PM
LBCOOK from Wstchr

Should we assume that the plastic is now in our "fish oil" supplements? If so, can it be removed?

Nov. 03 2011 12:27 PM
Howard from The Bronx

Does the captain find it ironic that his co-author's name is Cassandra?

Nov. 03 2011 12:27 PM
mark from nj

how ironic that Capt. Moore's co-author is named 'Cassandra' ...

Nov. 03 2011 12:26 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I like HughSansom's suggestion--the CD would make a good pledge drive gift! Some of the other series on the show would be good for this too.

Nov. 03 2011 12:23 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Is the effect of all this on mammals different from the effect on fish? Is it different for mammals that spend some of their lives on land & for those that don't?

Nov. 03 2011 12:21 PM

Mr. Lopate has done a series of very interesting interviews on issues like this. The one that always comes to my mind is that with Jon Wargo perhaps two years ago.... The set of them would make a great CD (or some kind of) compilation.

The plastics do leach chemicals into the water, altering biochemistry.

Nov. 03 2011 12:17 PM
John from office

Len, can the plastic be mined and reused??

Nov. 03 2011 12:07 PM
Peter from Paramus

Does Captain Moore have any thoughts about a another wave of debris originating from Japan which consists of material from their recent surnami?

Nov. 03 2011 12:07 PM

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