A marine plastic recovery vessel has just set the new record for the largest ocean clean-up in history, after a large haul of litter has been taken out of the Pacific Ocean.
After being out at sea for 48 days, the Ocean Voyages Institute’s boat docked at the port of Honolulu, Hawaii and has successfully brought back 103 tons (206,000Ibs) of fishing nets and consumer plastic.
Last year, the group had already set the record for the largest clean-up with their 25-day stint, yet this new weigh is more than double what they collected last time.
Founder and Executive Director of Ocean Voyages Institute, Mary Crowley, has stated: “I am so proud of our hard-working crew. We exceeded our goal of capturing 100 tons of toxic consumer plastics and derelict ‘ghost’ nets, and in these challenging times, we are continuing to help restore the health of our ocean, which influences our own health and the health of the planet.
“The oceans can’t wait for these nets and debris to break down into microplastics which impair the ocean’s ability to store carbon and toxify the fragile ocean food web.”
Since 2018, the team has been using GPS satellite trackers to prove Crowley’s theory that one tracker can lead to many nets – a tagged fishing net may lead to other nets and a density of debris within a 15-mile radius.
Crowley continued: “We are utilising proven nautical equipment to effectively clean-up the oceans while innovating with new technologies.
“Ocean Voyages Institute has been a leader in researching and accomplishing ocean clean-up for over a decade, granted with less fanfare and attention than others, but with passion and commitment and making meaningful impacts.”
Photographer and videographer Jackson McMuldren said: “I really wasn’t aware of the scope of this giant problem. It was really frightening actually how much plastic was out there – when you look off the boat it would just be clouds of tiny pieces.
“When we would dive on the nets we’d find turtles, fish, giant tuna – they’re all dead stuck in the net. So it’s really disheartening.”
He added: “The work that Mary Crowley and Ocean Voyages Institute is doing to go out there and actually collect these nets [is] helping to solve the problem.
“It’s a monumental problem, you realise that when you’re out there because there’s plastic everywhere.”
In other news, a chilling new documentary will be airing this month exploring the harrowing case of Brooke Skylar Richardson, a cheerleader from Ohio who gave birth to a baby in her family home in 2017. Two months later and following a visit to her gynaecologist, the 18-year-old confessed that her daughter, Annabelle, was buried at the bottom of her parent’s garden.