40 Tons of Fishing Nets Retrieved in Pacific Ocean Cleanup - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

40 Tons of Fishing Nets Retrieved in Pacific Ocean Cleanup

The volunteers with the California-based nonprofit Ocean Voyages Institute fished out the derelict nets during their 25-day expedition

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    40 Tons of Fishing Nets Retrieved in Pacific Ocean Cleanup
    AJ Jaeger/Ocean Voyages Institute via AP
    In this photo taken June 18, 2019, provided by the Ocean Voyages Institute, the sailing ship Kwai brings in derelict nets from the Pacific gyre cleanup in Honolulu. Mariners on a sailing vessel hundreds of miles from the Hawaiian coast picked up more than 40 tons of abandoned fishing nets in an effort to clean a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean.

    In a mission to clean up trash floating in the ocean, environmentalists pulled 40 tons (36 metric tons) of abandoned fishing nets this month from an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    Mariners on a 140-foot (43-meter) cargo sailboat outfitted with a crane voyaged from Hawaii to the heart of the Pacific Ocean, where they retrieved the haul of mostly plastic fishing nets as part of an effort to rid the waters of the nets that entangle whales, turtles and fish and damage coral reefs.

    The volunteers with the California-based nonprofit Ocean Voyages Institute fished out the derelict nets from a marine gyre location where ocean currents converge between Hawaii and California during their 25-day expedition, the group's founder, Mary Crowley, announced Friday.

    The group is among a handful of nonprofits working to collect plastic trash from the open ocean, an endeavor that can be dangerous, time consuming and expensive.

    Ohio Woman Cleared of Murder Charges for Newborn

    [NATL] Ohio Woman Cleared of Murder Charges for Newborn

    A young Ohio woman broke down in tears when she was cleared of murder charges involving the death of her newborn child. A jury cleared Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment charges of a baby she had given birth to and buried in the family's backyard.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2019)

    "Our success should herald the way for us to do larger clean ups and to inspire clean ups all throughout the Pacific Ocean and throughout the world. It's not something that we need to wait to do," Crowley said.

    The cargo ship returned June 18 to Honolulu, where 2 tons (1.8 metric tons) of plastic trash were separated from the haul of fishing nets and donated to local artists to transform it into art work to educate people about ocean plastic pollution. The rest of the refuse was turned over to a zero emissions energy plant that will incinerate it and turn it into energy, she said.

    A year before they went to pick up the nets, the Sausalito, California-based group gave sailors going from California to Hawaii buoyant GPS trackers the size of bowling balls to attach to the nets they encountered during their voyage so they could be tracked.

    The group then sailed to collect the nets entangled with plastic chairs, bottles and other trash in an effort that cost $300,000. The group plans to deploy dozens more GPS trackers and next year embark on a three-month trash collection expedition, Crowley said.

    It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 metric tons of fishing gear is abandoned or lost during storms each year in the oceans, said Nick Mallos, Director of the Trash Free Seas Program at Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group.

    Another 9 million tons (8 million metric tons) of plastic waste, including plastic bottles, bags, toys and other items, flow annually into the ocean from beaches, rivers and creeks, according to experts.

    Wreckage of Diving Boat That Killed 34 Lifted From Ocean

    [NATL] Wreckage of Diving Boat That Killed 34 Lifted From Ocean

    Conception, the boat that caught fire on Labor Day, killing 34 people on board, was lifted out of the waters off the coast of California on Thursday.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019)

    The Ocean Voyages Institute is one of dozens of groups around the world trying to tackle the problem. Most focus on cleaning up beaches, ridding shores of abandoned fishing nets, traps and other gear and pushing for a reduction on single-use plastic containers.

    Collecting the trash already in the gyres is also the goal of The Ocean Cleanup project, which was started by Dutch innovator Boyan Slat and last year first deployed a trash collection device to corral plastic litter floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    The group has raised millions of dollars from donors around the world, including San Francisco billionaire Marc Benioff.

    The buoyant, 2,000-foot (600-meter) long boom was floating 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from Hawaii's coast when it broke apart under constant wind. After being repaired, it was re-deployed last week.