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Quantitative Tar and Plastic Waste Distributions in the Pacific Ocean


WE report in this letter the first quantitative data on tar and plastic waste distributions in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean. During the Canadian Transpac-72 cruise, thirty-seven surface tows were made with a neuston net to collect particu-late pollutants quantitatively. (The net, a Kahl Scientific model with a mouth 80 cm by 30.5 cm and a 150 µm mesh net, was towed at 4 to 5 knots for 10 to 15 min at a time, covering an average area of 1,800 m2. It was rigged so that it would tow off to the side of the ship through water undisturbed by the ship's wake.) The research ship, CSS Parizeau (track shown in Fig. 1), left Tokyo on October 10, 1972, proceeded easy along latitude 35° N to near the California coast, then turned north along 125° W to reach Victoria, British Columbia, on November 2, 1972.

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WONG, C., GREEN, D. & CRETNEY, W. Quantitative Tar and Plastic Waste Distributions in the Pacific Ocean. Nature 247, 30–32 (1974).

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