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The Ocean Cleanup Breaks 10,000,000 KG Barrier

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ocean cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup, the global non-profit project, has removed a verified all-time total of ten million kilograms (22 million lbs.) of trash from oceans and rivers around the world – approximately the same weight as the Eiffel Tower.

To complete its mission of ridding the oceans of plastic, The Ocean Cleanup uses a dual strategy: cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) to remove the plastic already afloat in the oceans, while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

Through cleaning operations in the GPGP and in rivers in eight countries, the cumulative total of trash removed has now surpassed ten million kilograms. This milestone demonstrates the acceleration of The Ocean Cleanup’s impact, while underlining the astonishing scale of the plastic pollution problem and the need for continued support and action.

While encouraging for the mission, this milestone is only a staging point: millions more tons of plastic still pollute our oceans and The Ocean Cleanup intends to continue learning, improving and innovating to solve this global catastrophe.

This announcement comes as governments from around the world meet to continue negotiations to develop a new legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution at INC4 in Ottawa, Canada. Representatives of The Ocean Cleanup will be in attendance and the organization will be urging decision-makers to collaborate towards a comprehensive and ambitious global treaty which addresses plastic at all stages of its life cycle and in all marine environments worldwide, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

It is encouraging to see that the need for remediation is reflected in the various options for potential treaty provisions. It is essential that the final treaty contains clear targets for the remediation of legacy plastic pollution, and reduction of riverine plastic emissions.

Tackling plastic pollution requires innovative and impactful solutions. The treaty should therefore incentivize the innovation ecosystem by fostering innovations that make maximal use of data, technology and scientific knowledge – such as those designed and deployed by The Ocean Cleanup.

‘After many tough years of trial and error, it’s amazing to see our work is starting to pay off – and I am proud of the team who has brought us to this point.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘While we still have a long way to go, our recent successes fill us with renewed confidence that the oceans can be cleaned.’

The Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2013 and captured its first plastic in 2019, with the first confirmed catch in the GPGP coming soon after the deployment of Interceptor 001 in Jakarta, Indonesia. After surpassing one million kilograms of trash removed in early 2022, the non-profit project has since progressed to the third iteration of its GPGP cleaning solution, known as System 03, and a network of Interceptors currently covering rivers in eight countries, with more deployments set for 2024.

About The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is an international non-profit organization that develops and scales technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal through a dual strategy: stemming the inflow via rivers and cleaning up the legacy plastic that has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup develops large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic is tracked and traced through DNV’s chain of custody model to certify claims of origin when recycling it into new products. To curb the tide via rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed Interceptor™ solutions to halt and extract riverine plastic before it reaches the ocean. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs a broadly multi-disciplined team of approximately 140. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

For more information, visit: theoceancleanup.com and follow @theoceancleanup on social media.

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The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

www.theoceancleanup.com

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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Book Review: Plankton

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Plankton: A Worldwide Guide by Tom Jackson and Jennifer Parker

This is a book that jumps off the shelf at you. The striking front cover demands that you pick it up and delve further, even if you may not have known you wanted to learn more about the most diminutive life in our ocean, plankton!

Small it might be. Much of the imagery in the book has been taken under huge magnification. Revealing stunning beauty and diversity in each scoop of “soup”. There is lots to learn. Initial chapters include interesting facts about the different vertical zones they inhabit, from sunlight to midnight (the darkest and deepest areas). I loved finding out more about the stunning show that divers oft encounter on night dives – bioluminescence.

The black water images are wonderful. So this is a book you can have as a coffee table book to dip in and our of. But, these tiny organisms are also vital to our very survival and that of all the marine life we love. They provide half the oxygen produced on our planet. They are also responsible for regulating the planets climate. And for a shark lover like me – they are food for charismatic sharks and rays like the Basking Shark and Manta Ray, along with a huge number of other species. This book contains great insight into their biology, life cycles, migration, and how the changes in currents and sea temperatures affects them.

This is a book that is both beautiful and packed with information about possibly the most important group of organisms on our planet. Anyone interested in the ocean should have it one their shelves.

What the publisher says:

Plankton are the unsung heroes of planet Earth. Passive drifters through the world’s seas, oceans, and freshwater environments, most are invisible or very small, but some are longer than a whale. They are the global ocean’s foundation food, supporting almost all oceanic life, and they are also vitally important for land-based plants, animals, and other organisms. Plankton provides an incomparable look at these remarkable creatures, opening a window on the elegance and grace of microscopic marine life.

This engaging book reveals the amazing diversity of plankton, how they belong to a wide range of living groups, and how their ecology, lifestyles, and adaptations have evolved to suit an enormous range of conditions. It looks at plankton life cycles, the different ways plankton feed and grow, and the vast range of strategies they use for reproduction. It tracks where, how, and why plankton drift through the water; shares perspectives on migrations and population explosions or “blooms” and why they happen; and discusses the life-sustaining role of plankton in numerous intertwined food webs throughout the world.

Beautifully illustrated, Plankton sheds critical light on how global warming, pollution, diminishing resources, and overexploitation will adversely impact planktonic life, and how these effects will reverberate to every corner of our planet.

About the Authors:

Tom Jackson is a science writer whose many popular books include Strange Animals and Genetics in MinutesJennifer Parker is a zoology and conservation writer and the author of several books. Andrew Hirst is a leading expert on plankton whose research has taken him around the world, from the Antarctic to Greenland and the Great Barrier Reef.

Book Details

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Hardcover

Price: £25

ISBN: 9780691255996

Published: 9th April, 2024

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