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1000 Miles Northeast of Hawaii: An Ocean of Trash

Updated on December 28, 2009

If one has ever travelled to Hawaii or across the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean, whether on a ship or airplane, sooner or later, you will stumble upon floating debris and garbage. From the air, it appears like little specs of white and you wonder what it could be: Plastic. The State of Hawaii dumps into the ocean tons of trash daily because of their limited land-fill options. So do many other nations.

If you want to see the result of this and its impact on the ocean, travel 1000 miles NE of Hawaii until you stumble upon one of five swirling gyres-which is an area with heavy currents and little wind creating a giant whirlpool. How big?

Twice the size of Texas. Did you hear me right? Twice the size of Texas filled will mankind's non degradable items like: light bulbs, plastic, sticks, toothbrushes, anything that is not biodegradable and floats. It just sits there, a gigantic mass of trash swirling around and around and around in the same place and getting bigger. This in one of five such places in the Pacific!

Plastic will break down into little bits of confetti pieces containing DDT, PCB and other toxins. Sooner or later, fish eating small plankton consume the bits of plastic and the toxins then leak into the fish themselves. And of course, when a larger predator like a big fish or a human eats the fish, they consume the toxins in tiny amounts also which accumulate in the body. They do not go away. One fish caught near the gyre had 84 pieces of plastic in its body.

Ten years ago, this gyre was half the size it is now. Other large trash gyres in the ocean also exist in: Sea of Japan, Sargasso Sea and in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, mankind is slowly killing the oceans with plastic debris, which eventually poison ourselves by eating fish.

Which are the most dangerous to your health?


 Bluefin, Tongol and Yellowfin tuna

Caviar, Sturgeon (imported wild)

Chilean Seabass/Toothfish

Cod: Atlantic

Crab: King (imported)

Ehu/Red snapper


Hebi/Spearfish (imported)

Kajiki/Blue marlin (imported)

Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (imported)


Nairagi/Striped marlin

Onaga/Ruby snapper (MHI)

Opah/Moonfish (imported)

‘Opakapaka/Pink snapper (MHI)

Orange Roughy

Salmon (farmed, including Atlantic)

Shrimp (imported)


Tilapia (Asia farmed)

Tombo/Albacore tuna (imported)

Yellowtail (imported, farmed)



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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      They probably have no clue!

    • TnFlash profile image

      TnFlash 7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Great Hub! This is interesting stuff. I have friends that live in Hawaii. The couple of times I've been there everyone is big into don't polute our environment. Now I've learned about these swirling gyres. I'll have to ask what they're doing about this.