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The five major ocean gyres.

The North Atlantic garbage patch is an area of man-made marine debris found floating within the North Atlantic Gyre, originally documented in 1972.[1] The patch is estimated to be hundreds of kilometres across in size,[2] with a density of over 200,000 pieces of debris per square kilometer.[3][4] The debris zone shifts by as much as 1,600 km (990 mi) north and south seasonally, and drifts even farther south during the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, according to the NOAA.[2] There also is a South Atlantic garbage patch.


To study the scale of the marine debris accumulation in the area, the Sea Education Association (SEA) has been doing extensive research on the Atlantic Garbage Patch. Nearly 700,000 students from the SEA semester program have been dragging 6,100 fine-mesh nets through the Atlantic over 22 years. The gyre in the North Atlantic Ocean contains plastic marine pollution in a pattern and amount similar to what has been found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.[5]

Effect on wildlife and humans[edit]

While eating their normal source of food, plastic ingestion can be unavoidable to wildlife.[6][7][8]

Action for creating awareness[edit]

On 11 April 2013 in order to create awareness, artist Maria Cristina Finucci founded The Garbage patch state at UNESCO[9] –Paris in front of Director General Irina Bokova . First of a series of events under the patronage of UNESCO and of Italian Ministry of the Environment.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carpenter, E.J.; Smith, K.L. (1972). "Plastics on the Sargasso Sea Surface, in Science". Science. 175 (4027): 1240–1241. doi:10.1126/science.175.4027.1240. PMID 5061243. 
  2. ^ a b Steve, By (4 August 2009). "Scientists study huge ocean garbage patch". Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Scientists find giant plastic rubbish dump floating in the Atlantic". 26 February 2010. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Gill, Victoria (24 February 2010). "Plastic rubbish blights Atlantic Ocean". BBC News. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Huge Garbage Patch Found in Atlantic Too". 2 March 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Plastic pollution found inside dead seabirds". 
  7. ^ "Our Trash is enough to Kill a whale" CBS 12 news. Author Jana Eschbach. October 15, 2015
  8. ^ "Pygmy sperm whale died in Halifax Harbour after eating plastic". 
  9. ^ "The garbage patch territory turns into a new state - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 

External links[edit]


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