96 Tons of Waste Gathered from North Pacific Gyre
Ocean Voyages Institute’s (OVI) sailing cargo ship, SV Kwai, has returned to the port of Honolulu after completing the second leg of OVI’s 2022 expedition. The marine cleanup organization’s summer program sailed from Honolulu in June, departing on World Oceans Day, collecting plastic while transiting the North Pacific Gyre to the California coast, unloading 96 tons of discarded “ghost” fishing nets and consumer plastics in San Francisco after a 45-day voyage.
This second leg of OVI’s expedition began on August 4 and traveled more than 3,000 mi. back from California through the North Pacific Gyre. After 25 days at sea, the multinational crew from the Marshall Islands, Fiji, Kiribati and the U.S. returned with tons of derelict fishing gear and toxic plastics from everyday consumer products.
OVI is partnering with the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ government, which owns the sailing cargo ship Kwai. The current downwind voyage benefited from favorable winds during its return to Honolulu, illustrating the benefit of a sailing cargo ship.
A focal point for this visit to Honolulu is preparation for the International Marine Debris Conference, September 18 to 23, in Busan, South Korea.
OVI collaborates with a multidisciplinary group of NASA-funded researchers, FloatEco. Data collected contribute to understanding the dynamics of floating plastic and its interaction with open-ocean ecosystems.