How much plastic is there in the Ocean?

To be honest, I’m a bit confused on the facts. I know there are tons of plastic debris floating around the world. The thing that really confuses me is how they affect the Ecology of the Ocean. I’d like to share some light on my understanding of this, and also use one of my most recent trips to the Dominican Republic as a case study to shed some light on the horrendous effects of plastics in the Oceans.

So, I guess the first thing would be to explain what type of plastic is harmful, and how they affect the environment. Trust me, it is way too complicated for a blog post. All you really need to understand is that there is the plastic you can see and Microplastic. In reality, they are both equally damaging, they simply affect different populations within the hydrosphere. The seeable plastic can be as large as a football field, it could be in the form of netting, cord, fishing line, or sheets.Sometimes it is a mixture of plastics that create this huge patch miles long. In my opinion, the most dangerous kind are the microplastics. This is what larger plastics photodegrade to. It also comes in an added component from detergents and beauty products. Remember the first time you tried Oxiclean face wash with microbeads? Those microbeads are small pieces of plastic that interact with sea life at a microscopic level. Not only do they harm organisms like Bacteria, and Plankton, but they are also finding themselves in the trophic chain, and into our table.

In the featured image you see two young boys helping their father get ready for his daily fishing run. They have many plastic cases that they use to store or transport things in their boats. However this isn’t the problem, most of these containers will make it back to shore and be reused again, and again until they fail. The problem lies within the general population and their disregard for where their plastic ends up.

This is Juancho, Pedernales One of the most beautiful coasts in the Caribbean, and home to the Dominican Republic’s largest wind energy project.

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This region is one of the country’s most impoverished areas, yet it boasts one of the largest natural parks in the country, Parque Jaragua. This place has the potential to be one of the hidden jewels of the Caribbean, however, we need to better manage the trash that floats into this area.

In this Video, I’d like to give you a brief overview of the marine plastics situation in a small fishing community from the Southwestern province of the Dominican Republic.

I have not had the time to add English captions, but I’m working on it.
There isn’t much speaking since we are on the back of a 70cc motorcycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Seaweed farming make Ecological sense?

So as we continue on our journey to fund our research, I wanted to share with you an Interview we did a few years ago with Dr. Ruben Torres Executive Director of Reef Check DR. As  people become more aware of the Blue Economy and its potential for sustainable ventures they are curious to see if these alternatives are truly Ecologically friendly.Or if this is just another hoax at an attempt to make money by appealing to environmentalist and eco-conscious consumers.

For some expert insight listen to Dr. Torres curator of the National Submarine park of “La Caleta”,  Marine Biologist, and die-hard environmentalist who has made it his life’s work to introduce eco-friendly alternatives for fishing communities who need new ways of becoming economically resilient. 

He thinks its a good idea, what do you think?

Feel free to comment!
Watch the Interview Here…

 

Granja Marina: Economic Resiliency in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean through Seaweed farming

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So we hear a lot about International Organizations who are working on the development of coastal communities; however, we keep seeing redundancy in their models for sustainability with no avail. What does this mean? Well, they keep trying to teach an old fisherman how to fish in a sustainable matter, yet once the program is over they revert back to what they know best. Well, in case the failed attempts throughout the last decade wasn’t a clue. I have news for you, fishing is not a sustainable enterprise. I hate to break it to you, but the fact that science has pretty much eliminated natural selection from the human growing cycle makes the playing field pretty uneven when it comes to harvesting fish.

As our population grows exponentially, we are en route to wiping out most of the commercial fishing species right out of the race. Not to mention the acidification of the oceans, and unfair fishing practices carried out without any oversight have all just about made our coasts a barren and sterile ecosystem.

What we are proposing is a new way for these communities to keep on making a living from the sea, by harvesting local seaweed species. If this sounds interesting to you, we invite you to find out a bit more about our seaweed farming project. Learn about the communities in which we work, and also see which United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals we contribute to, in this informative presentation about creating climate change resiliency in the Dominican Republic and Latin America through Seaweed Aquaculture.

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