Day 19 S/V Kaisei: Plastics Through the Lens

22 08 2009

Saturday, 22 August 2009
Lat: 38° 57’ N Lon: 140° 46’ W

Another Ghost Net, From Below

Another Ghost Net, From Below

As Sir Isaac Newton once said, “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.” As technology has progressed, over the past century, human beings have created incredible systems and tools that enhance our quality of life today. As we are seeing, with the amount of plastics suffocating our oceans, our efforts to enhance our lives has been short sighted and will ultimately diminish our quality of life and health.

The truth, as I see it, is that nature is not as resilient as most people may think – it’s extremely fragile. As the damage we’ve made inevitably trickles throughout the food web, and affects human health, it is becoming obvious that we must set aside greed, business, and fear. Instead, we must collectively take immediate action towards restructuring our systems, until we reach a truly sustainable world. We are selfishly damaging the most important living system, our planet Earth.

There is something beautiful about the great expanse of the open ocean. When you start to fill this wild beauty with plastic, the beauty is no more. I am a realist, and I don’t usually believe much unless I have evidence. Prior to this trip I wasn’t convinced that fish, turtles, sharks, and sea jellies were being affected by marine debris. I knew that sea birds were dying every day, but having the opportunity to join this voyage has opened up my mind to the grim possibility that, without immediate action, it may be too late.

Technically, we’re not sure that plastics have entered the food web, to where we may be consuming it. It is known that dozens of invasive, manmade chemicals are found in human bodies; but we need harder evidence to prove the same correlation to marine debris. Either way the amount of tiny pieces of plastics, found in the science experiments, is astonishing. At this point I’ll be surprised if it is not in the seafood we buy at the grocery store and eat in restaurants.

Being the underwater cameraman on this project, I have been up close and personal with the plastics and the marine life that is living on and amongst it. It sucks!

Either we educate the world to clean it up or we address the problem where it begins – plastic production and products. I think the best answer is to attack this on all fronts. This is no small matter – it might kill us. You can bet it will at least kill a lot of animals.

Troy on the Bow

Troy on the Bow

– Troy Brajkovich, Underwater Videographer/Photographer for Project Kaisei

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One response

27 08 2009
alexandra merrill

Thanks, Troy, for this clear and concise summary.
I’ve been following this with great interest, respect and admiration.
all the best,
and please keep me in your loops
Alexandra

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