Posted by: Katie Transue
We launched the hi-speed trawl yesterday and dragged it until this morning, approximately 100 nautical miles through the Pacific. Research has begun. As Marcus unveiled the sample, the crew surrounded him with curiosity. The sample included several small fragments of colorful plastic (at least twenty pieces) and a single nurdle, a pre-production pellet used to make all plastic items. We have not officially entered the Western North Pacific accumulation zone yet, which explains the minimal amount of plastic found. We are heading west northwest at the moment (Course is 305 Degrees) for the next 580 miles and then we will head north and head into the accumulation zone for approximately 610 miles until we head west to Tokyo (approximately 800 miles). Little plastic pollution research exists in this area of the ocean – the last samples collected were done in the mid 1980s.
We are about to launch the first manta trawl at 4PM today. This will be the beginning of our official research. The plan is to put the manta out every 50 nautical miles, as long as weather continues to be appropriate. In total, we will probably collected 25 to 35 manta trawl samples, along with a similar amount of hi-speed trawl samples. In addition to the research beginning today, Shanley and I are leading sit-up sessions during the 60 minutes that the trawl is out. Sea Dragon is slowed down to less than 3 nautical miles during this time – perfect time to get a little exercise in.