A garbage patch bigger than Texas was just discovered in the Pacific Ocean

August 2, 2017 by  
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A few months ago, scientists found a new garbage patch in the Arctic ocean . And now, another pocket of plastics, human trash, and chemical waste has been discovered in a newly-explored region of the Pacific Ocean. Like it’s cousin the “ Great Pacific Garbage Patch ,” it’s an environmental burden that shows just how irresponsible humans have become in recent years. The new patch is located between Hawaii and the mainland US, and it was discovered by the Algalita Research Foundation . Charles Moore led the six-month volunteer voyage. Though researchers are still determining the garbage patch’s size, it is estimated to be as big as a million square kilometers (386,100 square miles) — four times the size of the United Kingdom or 1.5 times the size of Texas ! Moore told ResearchGate : “We discovered tremendous quantities of plastic. My initial impression is that our samples compared to what we were seeing in the North Pacific in 2007, so it’s about ten years behind.” Though the vortex of trash is gargantuan, pictures of the patch are somewhat misleading in terms of the size of debris. Initial analyses reveal that the majority of the plastics are the size of a grain of rice. Of course, there are larger pieces of garbage, such as bottles and fishing nets. So far, it looks as if most of the waste was disposed of by commercial enterprises, such as the fishing industry. This means general consumers are less to blame. “We found a few larger items, occasionally a buoy and some fishing gear, but most of it was broken into bits,” said Moore. Small or large in size, plastic debris still poses a serious threat to marine wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. It’s estimated that by 2050, 99 percent of birds will have plastic in their guts due to the extraordinary amount of goods disposed of by humans. Though you may think you have nothing to do with the problem, that is unlikely – 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from land . Over time, plastic debris breaks up into micro-particles that don’t easily biodegrade and are ingested by wildlife. If animals — such as turtles and fish — don’t die from swallowing the trash, their bodies are likely to become more toxic due to the PCBs and other chemicals found in plastics. This, in turn, makes them unsuitable for consumption by humans and other creatures. Related: Shocking study reveals 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic As IFLScience reports, garbage patches in the ocean result from giant systems of circulating currents (gyres) sweeping debris up from ports, harbors, rivers, docks, and ships. The trash then becomes trapped and oftentimes accumulates for years before it is spotted. Though this new vortex of trash is bad news, it doesn’t mean hope is lost. Humans still have time to adopt sustainable habits and prevent climate change from worsening. As innovations are developed to clean up the oceans, individuals and families can reduce their burden on the environment by eating more unpackaged whole, unprocessed foods, bringing recyclable bags to the grocery store and boycotting plastic whenever possible. Via Research Gate Images via Pinterest , Charles Moore, YouTube

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A garbage patch bigger than Texas was just discovered in the Pacific Ocean

Trump administration ‘declares war’ on West Coast turtles, dolphins, and whales

June 13, 2017 by  
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Environmentalists say President Donald Trump’s administration has declared war on California marine animals after an announcement this week from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The administration canceled proposed limits on the amount of endangered whales, sea turtles , and dolphins that can be hurt or killed on the West Coast by sword-fishing nets. The proposed limits were backed by the fishing industry and environmentalists. But NOAA said other protections have helped slash the amount of marine creatures that get trapped in the nets – called gill nets – like better training for fishing boat skippers and sound warnings so creatures can leave the area. NOAA Fisheries spokesperson Michael Milstein told the Los Angeles Times, “The cap would have imposed a cost on the industry to solve a problem that has already been addressed.” Related: Unusually high number of humpback whale deaths prompts NOAA inquiry NOAA statistics reveal injuries and deaths for protected whales dropped from over 50 in 1992 to one or two every year by 2015. For common dolphins, the numbers fell from nearly 400 to just a few. But environmentalists disagree. Turtle Island Restoration Network director Todd Steiner said the Trump administration has declared war. He said the drop in numbers is due to the decline in the gill-net fishing fleet in California. He told the Los Angeles Times, “The numbers caught per set have not gone down. The California gill-net fishery kills more marine mammals than all other West Coast fisheries combined.” The restrictions were strong: if two endangered sea turtles or whales were seriously harmed or killed during two years, the gill net fishery would be shuttered for as long as two years. If any combination of four bottlenose dolphins or short-finned pilot whales were hurt or died, the fishery would also be shut down. Center for Biological Diversity senior attorney Catherine Kilduff said rare species are still being killed. And the numbers of some species are so small that the death of just one can be devastating. She told the Los Angeles Times, “Government scientists have said that West Coast fisheries can’t catch more than one leatherback every five years. They estimate that four times that have caught just in the gill-net fishery alone.” Via the Los Angeles Times Images via Salvatore Barbera on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Trump administration ‘declares war’ on West Coast turtles, dolphins, and whales

Thailand’s $7.8 billion seafood industry is built on human trafficking and slave labor

July 20, 2015 by  
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A new investigation has uncovered the inhumane and often gruesome reality lurking behind Thailand ’s fishing industry. For the past decade, hundreds of Rohingya migrants have been sold from trafficking camps in Malaysia and Thailand, forced to work on seafood boats for years on end, and often dumped in mass graves upon their demise. In May this year, investigators traced the source of slave-harvested prawns sold in the UK to Thailand, which led to the discovery of a string of trafficking camps along with mass graves that zig-zag through southeast Asia. Read the rest of Thailand’s $7.8 billion seafood industry is built on human trafficking and slave labor

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Thailand’s $7.8 billion seafood industry is built on human trafficking and slave labor

Tidal Vision upcycles Alaskan fishing industry waste into wallets

May 28, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Getting out of the shower and pulling on a bunch of crab shells really doesn’t sound like fun. But what if you could do that, and have it look like any other athletic-style shirt? The bonus would be if that shirt is naturally antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial, so if you really hate doing laundry, you can stay fresh a little longer. A company in Alaska, Tidal Vision , is doing something really interesting with the tons of byproducts from the fishing industry. Chitoskin shirts, made from crab and shrimp shells, are just one of their innovative products. Wallets and belts made out of fish leather are another. Read the rest of Tidal Vision upcycles Alaskan fishing industry waste into wallets Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alaska , Alaska coast water , Alaskan salmon , aquatic leather , aquatic leather belt , aquatic leather boots , craig kasberg , fish leather , fish leather products , salmon skin wallet , tidal visions usa

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Tidal Vision upcycles Alaskan fishing industry waste into wallets

Interactive Global Fishing Watch Map to Monitor Activity on the Open Seas

November 17, 2014 by  
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SkyTruth, Oceana , and Google have just announced the release of a prototype interactive map that is designed to show all of the trackable fishing activity in the ocean. Global Fishing Watch  uses satellite data to create the first worldwide view of commercial fishing, with the aim of raising awareness of the intensity of legal fishing, while highlighting the question of how much illegal activity is going on. Read the rest of Interactive Global Fishing Watch Map to Monitor Activity on the Open Seas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: big data , boats , Fishing , Global Fishing Watch , Google , illegal fishing , interactive map , map , Oceana , overfishing , satellite data

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Interactive Global Fishing Watch Map to Monitor Activity on the Open Seas

Luzinterruptus Creates Colorful Fishing in Light Installation Using Borrowed Containers

October 7, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Luzinterruptus Creates Colorful Fishing in Light Installation Using Borrowed Containers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Culture Festival in Rivas Vaciamadrid , eco art projects in Spain , eco design , fishing at night art project , Fishing in Light , green design , illuminated fishing in Spain , luzinterruptus , recycle art , Rivas Vaciamadrid , Spain , sustainable design , waste-free art project        

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Luzinterruptus Creates Colorful Fishing in Light Installation Using Borrowed Containers

Proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska Could Wipe Out Half of All Sockeye Salmon

June 21, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock The Keystone XL Pipeline has been firmly established as North America’s biggest environmental battleground, but another major battle is forming in Bristol Bay, Alaska over the proposed Pebble Mine , a massive gold and copper mine that has the potential to wipe out half the world’s remaining wild sockeye salmon. And like the Keystone pipeline, President Obama will have the final say on whether construction will move forward. The sprawling open-pit mine would decimate vital salmon streams, and commercial fishermen, environmental organizations and native tribes are all voicing their opposition to the mine. Read the rest of Proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska Could Wipe Out Half of All Sockeye Salmon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alaska , Bristol Bay , environmental destruction , Fishing , mining , pebble mine , Pebble Partnership , salmon , salmon run , Sockeye Salmon , wild salmon , Wildlife        

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Proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska Could Wipe Out Half of All Sockeye Salmon

Chinese Fishing Boats Catch 12 Times More Fish than Goes Reported

April 3, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock A new report published by scientists at the  University of British Columbia finds that Chinese fishing boats catch about $11.5 billion worth of fish from beyond Chinese waters each year, and much of that haul goes unreported. If these latest estimates are correct, then Chinese fishermen are harvesting about 12 times the amount of fish they’re reporting to the  United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization . While the numbers produced by the report are rough estimates, they raise some serious red flags about overfishing. Read the rest of Chinese Fishing Boats Catch 12 Times More Fish than Goes Reported Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: china , Chinese fishermen , fish populations , fisheries , fishery management , Fishing , overfishing , sustainable fish , sustainable fishing , sustainable food , University of British Columbia

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Chinese Fishing Boats Catch 12 Times More Fish than Goes Reported

Boat-Shaped Nueva Esperanza School in Ecuador Was Built With Bamboo, Timber and Straw

December 31, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Boat-Shaped Nueva Esperanza School in Ecuador Was Built With Bamboo, Timber and Straw Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , agriculture , bamboo , boat shaped school , eco design , ecuador , Fishing , green design , local materials , Nueva Esperanza School , Straw , sustainable design , Sustainable Materials , timber , vernacular architecture

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Boat-Shaped Nueva Esperanza School in Ecuador Was Built With Bamboo, Timber and Straw

Dyson Award-Winning SafetyNet Prevents Overfishing by Guiding Small Fish to Freedom With LED Lights

November 12, 2012 by  
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Royal College of Arts graduate Dan Watson has developed a brilliant sustainable fishing net with luminous exit portals that allow endangered and young fish to escape so that they can fully mature. Watson calls his design the SafetyNet, and the project was recently awarded with £10,000 for taking first place in the 2012 James Dyson Awards . Read the rest of Dyson Award-Winning SafetyNet Prevents Overfishing by Guiding Small Fish to Freedom With LED Lights Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Dan Watson , Fishing , Fishing Net , industrial design , james dyson award , London , Royal College of Arts , SafetyNet Technologies , Sustainable

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Dyson Award-Winning SafetyNet Prevents Overfishing by Guiding Small Fish to Freedom With LED Lights

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