School Email Exchange

Would you say more debris has been found in the North Pacific than the North Atlantic?

Posted on November 05 2012

Question submitted by Trinity-Pawling School

There are three people onboard the Seamans who also participated in the Plastics at SEA: North Atlantic Expedition 2010 who helped me with this question.  There have been more sightings of macroplastics such as buoys and styrofoam on this expedition compared to the Atlantic expedition.  This may be due to the fact that we are logging each of the large pieces that we see by writing down the coordinates (latitude and longitude), as well as the size of the piece of plastic.

Plastics were found in windrows in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.  Looking straight down off the aft deck of the Seamans, there is no large organic material collecting plastic in this Pacific windrow, but plastics in the Atlantic were found in windrows with Sargassum seaweed.