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Friday, February 20, 2009

Welcome Beachcombers

Welcome Beachcombers. I hope you will submit your accounts of flotsam. I’ll do my best to explain them. Some of your accounts may appear in my newsletter the Beachcombers’ Alert.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of the Patagonian city of Comodora Rivadavia in Argentina? It has the most flotsam beach I have ever encountered. Good luck with your hunting.
Kansas Bystander

April 10, 2009 at 1:10:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been to the Falklands six times as a staff member on an Antarctic tourist ship. There is one beach on our tour where there is an unusual collection of plastic flotsam in the wrack line. It is a beach on Carcass Island in the West Falklands, at the Google Earth coordinates 51°18'18.20"S, 60°31'41.82"W. There are large piles of fishing nets of many different colors, styrofoam and other trash. I'd like to know more about why that particular beach is so polluted with floating trash.

April 10, 2009 at 1:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard your interview on Public Radio. Great show! The tennis shoe theory was interesting. I had two additional thoughts to throw in.
First, since most of the tennis shoes are manufactured and shipped in the northern hemisphere, could the ocean currents and winds affect the right shoes more so than the lefties. And second, could the coriolis effect enhance the performance of the righties under the aforementioned conditions?
A final thought...somewhere in Canada in the last year or two there were a few tennis shoes that washed ashore (or perhaps washed up a river ocean outlet)with body parts still attached . Perhaps your theory could assist or shed some light on the mystery for the authorities.
Good Luck

April 10, 2009 at 1:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about this in GOOD magazine last June as a vacation destination:

It occurred to me that there might be significant profits in cleaning it up the flotsam continent. If some of those factory fish processing ships spent the off season collecting recycling material, it might offset the cost of sitting idle in port while improving fish habitat.
It would require a scooping device and conveyor sorting stations. A solar furnace could melt sorted plastics and a compactor would be needed to reduce volume.
Why not a floating recycling/teaching university/city? Maybe something Greenpeace could get into.

April 11, 2009 at 4:42:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Sherry Payne said...

Oh my gosh...I was just listening to a podcast of Science Friday (I live and work in Thailand)...and I think I'm in love....traveling to the flotsamiest places in the world sounds excitingly wacky.....having trekked to basecamp at Everest for my 60th birthday in October, I can assure you that, unfortunately, trash is not limited to the ocean.....I love the water and have traveled quite a bit of the earth's land masses...so I think my next adventure may involve a flotsam hunt....keep up the hobby/work? I'm sure some day it will provide benefits, but in the meantime, it just sounds like a lot of fun!

Sherry Payne

April 14, 2009 at 3:24:00 AM PDT  
Blogger David Wrathall said...

Hello! Love this site. I'll be checking it regularly! I am a property owner on a small key in the Cayos Cochinos in the Caribbean just off the coast of Honduras (at approximately 15.9666667,-86.45). I was cleaning up floating trash on the island this weekend, which regularly accumulates flotsam. Usually the trash floats over from the mainland, but this time I found a curious plastic bottle. The writing was in English and Urdu (or Hindustani?) so perhaps it floated from Guyana in South America, or another caribbean island with a high Urdu-speaking population. Perhaps it was tossed overboard by a ship, but, nevertheless, it was a curious find.

April 15, 2009 at 8:58:00 AM PDT  
Blogger David Wrathall said...

If the recipients of Central American flotsam are wondering how so much trash can enter the oceans, I have a quick answer: for Central Americans, the culture dictates that rivers (and by extension the ocean) are the principal waste recepticles. I love Central American culture, but in this one respect, they are, in general terms, absolute pigs. (I speak with many years of experience in Central America.)

April 15, 2009 at 9:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Ligia said...

We sailed to the Chagos Archipielago in the middle of the Indian Ocean back in 2001 and the outer beaches of the atolls of Peros Bahnos and Salomon were full of all sorts of stuff: fishing nets and other ship related things, bottles, styrofoam boxes, fluorescent tubes, lots of plastic water bottles and an enormous amount of flip-flops!

Out in the open sea, we were often seeing plastic water bottles and plastic bags...

Following Billy Flap Jack's comment above, I'm Central American (Costa Rican) and one of the trashiest places I've ever seen is nearby Tivives, a beach located downcurrent from the mouth of the Virilla/Tarcoles River, one of the countries main river basins.

Your research sounds most interesting and fascinating!

April 17, 2009 at 3:36:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rita and collaborative authors said...

MNLY Blog, for Sydney's Manly Beach has a monthly 'Driftwood' column of what is found at the beach. See sidebar or

May 7, 2009 at 8:58:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is Paul Jenkins and I spent a year at the Sub Antarctic Macquarie Island in 2001, In my year there we collected over 2 tonnes of accumulated flotsam, most of it fishing floats and rope with the remainder being plastic bottles, 44 gallon drums etc, even the remains of a ships life boat. The stuff we collected was only confined to the accessable areas of the island so the total accumulated amount of flotsam washing up would be many times greater than what we picked up. The west coast being the weather side accumulates the most. Most years at least one member of the winter crew carries out a flotsam and plastics survey and the collected stuff is either sent back to australia or burnt on the island.

July 4, 2009 at 4:50:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glass beach on the south west shore of kauai - covered in beach glass you can get it by the handfull

August 14, 2009 at 2:15:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there was also multiple kilos of cocaine that washed ashore in hossogor france in 2000 or so

August 14, 2009 at 2:18:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jillian C. said...

I am extremely excited to read your book. A few years ago I found myself very angry (again!) at the amount of trash I saw on the beach, which I adore. So I realized I can either carp about it or do something.... so I have spent many hours this summer picking up trash on Rockaway & Coney Island Beaches here in NYC. This year I also decided to start making artwork out of that trash so I could express some of the things I feel about our just-toss-it culture.
I am quite heartened by the number of people I am finding that are like-minded! I have spent many years nihilistically growling about the 'pointlessness of even trying'... and now I am looking for solutions. Thank you for letting me know others are trying, too!

September 16, 2009 at 10:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, can anybody identify this object? It was seen on a beach in south Long Island, The Bahamas on October 30th October 2009. It is about 3 feet in diameter. It seems to be made of white cork with hundreds of suction cups. I donot know if it is light or heavy because I did not touch it. Any help will be greately appreciated. Thank you. My phone # is 1-242-337-0074 (H)
1-242-337-0544(W)e-mail antierigby@hotmail.com

Thanks again.

Best regards,
Judith V. Rigby

November 12, 2009 at 4:18:00 PM PST  
Blogger SEAS L.L.C Consulting said...

Your insights and science is so compelling I am teaching a graduate Internet seminar on flotsam and coastal debris. It is part of Nova U Oceanographic center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL graduate distance program in Coastal Zone Management. Your wonderful book "Flotsametrics" will be the hub for the class. http://www.nova.edu/ocean/

Steffen Schmidt
Prof of Political Science and Public Policy
Iowa State University
Associate - Nova Oceanographic Center

July 9, 2010 at 10:47:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your "Tracking Trash" book very much. As an American living in N.Z., I would like to know if there have been any containers spilled in the S. Pacific in the past few years. Is there a OSCURS simulation for the South Pacific Ocean? Thanks, CG

September 25, 2013 at 6:51:00 PM PDT  

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