The question remains as to whether humans as a whole are respecting Earth as 50 tons of litter is pulled from the Pacific Ocean.
According to NBC News, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Oscar Elton Sette pulled 50 metric tons of marine debris out of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the northwestern Hawaiian Islands last month. Scientists loaded up their ships to the max in an effort that began in 1996 to clean up the coral reefs around the area. The chief scientist for the NOAA mission, Kyle Koyanagi said in a statement to the press, “What surprises us is that after many years of marine debris removal in Papahanaumokuakea and more than 700 metric tons of debris later, we are still collecting a significant amount of derelict fishing gear from the shallow coral reefs and shorelines. The ship was at maximum capacity and we did not have any space for more debris.”
Every year since 1996, the NOAA has been sending ships out to clean the debris in the Pacific Ocean, specifically targeting coastal waters and shorelines. The mission, which ended July 14, targeted Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, Pearl Atoll, Hermes Atoll, Lisianski Island and Laysan Island with the help of 17 scientists.
The majority of the debris found was broken fishing gear and plastic said to have been found in the Midway Atoll coast. Moreover, a lot of the marine debris was discarded nets that can trap sea turtles, seals and other marine animals. The Pacific Islands regional coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program states that it’s a very serious problem,“Marine debris is an everyday problem, especially right here in the Pacific.”
The immense amount of debris will now be used as a means of fuel for electricity generation. The steam from the metal used in the marine animal nets is used for combustion that creates fire and runs a turbine to create energy and is all done by the Hawaii’s Nets-to Energy program.
Are We Taking Care of Our Planet? 50 Tons of Litter is Pulled from the Pacific Ocean.