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  • Writer's pictureMermaid Cruiser

Indian Ocean Garbage Patch

The Indian Ocean garbage patch, discovered in 2010, is a marine garbage patch, a gyre of marine litter, suspended in the upper water column of the central Indian Ocean, specifically the Indian Ocean Gyre, one of the five major oceanic gyres.

The patch does not appear as a continuous debris field. As with other patches in each of the five oceanic gyres, the plastics in it break down to ever smaller particles, and to constituent polymers. As with the other patches, the field constitutes an elevated level of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris; primarily particles that are invisible to the naked eye. The concentration of particle debris has been estimated to be approximately 10,000 particles per square kilometer.

According to a new study led by Mirjam van der Mheen, a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Australia, the Indian Ocean’s unique geography, ocean currents, and atmospheric conditions actually appear to be preventing waste from piling up in a garbage patch.

Because the south Indian Ocean’s gyre extends just past the southern tip of Africa, plastics accumulate here briefly, then move out past South Africa into the southern Atlantic Ocean.

Most of the plastic found in the Indian Ocean Garbage Patch started on land in the hands of humans.

Please follow this link to find out how you can play your part to prevent plastic pollution in our oceans.


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