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Monday, February 28, 2011

You're never alone with a plastic duck II

Almost 4 years ago i wrote a post about a ship hitting a storm and a consignment of toy yellow plastic ducks being set a drift at sea.

I mention this because Donovan Hohn has written a book called Moby-Duck. The book chronicles the ducks odyssey and and what it has taught us about currents, it also tells us about the threat to the marine environment from the vast numbers of containers that fall off the world's cargo ships.

Says Hohn

I've heard tales of containers getting lost that are full of those big plastic bags that dry cleaners use....I've also heard of crates full of cigarettes going overboard, which of course end up having their butts ingested by marine animals. In fact, one of the endnotes in my book lists the contents of a dead whale's belly: it was full of trash. Plastic pollution is a real problem. It's far from the greatest environmental danger to the ocean, but it is one of the most visible, and that means it can be important as a symbol of less visible damage, such as overfishing, agricultural run-off and the warming of the oceans.

Apparently the ducks have washed up in Hawaii, Alaska a few passed over the site of the Titanic near Newfoundland and one washed up in Scotland.

When the book comes out in paperback I may give it a go!


holdingmoments said...

Fascinating story Pete.
Must admit to not having heard about this before; but the only news I get is what people tell me, and when I look out my window. (ignorance is bliss,as they say lol)

That's a book I'll look out for.

Tricia said...

Interesting that what started out as an accident is now helping us understand more about our polluted waters. Even the casual observer of the waterline on any of our beaches cannot miss, sadly, the sight of so much rubbish in the water!

- and the book sounds like a read to look out for!