Ocean Death

More and more death in the ocean: The Ocean Is Broken

I don’t think most of us can fathom how bad this is getting. I can’t, not really.  I’ve never sailed across the ocean. I don’t know what it might have been like before.  Now, it’s like navigating a junk yard. Devoid of life.

“After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.

“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

“I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen.”

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.

“Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it’s still out there, everywhere you look.”

Ivan’s brother, Glenn, who boarded at Hawaii for the run into the United States, marvelled at the “thousands on thousands” of yellow plastic buoys. The huge tangles of synthetic rope, fishing lines and nets. Pieces of polystyrene foam by the million. And slicks of oil and petrol, everywhere.

Countless hundreds of wooden power poles are out there, snapped off by the killer wave and still trailing their wires in the middle of the sea.

“In years gone by, when you were becalmed by lack of wind, you’d just start your engine and motor on,” Ivan said.

Not this time.

“In a lot of places we couldn’t start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That’s an unheard of situation, out in the ocean.

“If we did decide to motor we couldn’t do it at night, only in the daytime with a lookout on the bow, watching for rubbish.

“On the bow, in the waters above Hawaii, you could see right down into the depths. I could see that the debris isn’t just on the surface, it’s all the way down. And it’s all sizes, from a soft-drink bottle to pieces the size of a big car or truck.

“We saw a factory chimney sticking out of the water, with some kind of boiler thing still attached below the surface. We saw a big container-type thing, just rolling over and over on the waves.

“We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage tip.

“Below decks you were constantly hearing things hitting against the hull, and you were constantly afraid of hitting something really big. As it was, the hull was scratched and dented all over the place from bits and pieces we never saw.”

Plastic was ubiquitous. Bottles, bags and every kind of throwaway domestic item you can imagine, from broken chairs to dustpans, toys and utensils.

And something else. The boat’s vivid yellow paint job, never faded by sun or sea in years gone past, reacted with something in the water off Japan, losing its sheen in a strange and unprecedented way.

BACK in Newcastle, Ivan Macfadyen is still coming to terms with the shock and horror of the voyage.

“The ocean is broken,” he said, shaking his head in stunned disbelief.

If there is any humanity in you, this should make you cry.

It’s been bad for a long time, long before the earthquake and tidal wave ripped Fukushima apart, dumping hundreds of millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. Before this, the Pacific Gyre (one of many, estimates are over 400) known as the “Pacific garbage patch” exhibited the detrius of civilization.  This Texas size dumping ground contains virtually every imaginable “thing” from human society. It’s the world’s largest “landfill”.

This is from 2008, there are many, many more videos online available:

And it’s getting far, far worse.

The Fukushima disaster continues to unfold, with radiation levels now being detected off of the west coast of America and in the marine life. Virtually nothing can be done. The world has tried earnestly to ignore all of this, but it’s just getting worse and worse. The remaining building, housing the spent fuel rods, are expected to collapse.

The entire global food chain is being affected through bio-accumulation of dangerous and lethal radioactive elements. What happens in the ocean will affect every single one of us.

 

 

 

 

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