Sunday, June 22, 2014

Collection Report - January 13, 2014

Continuing the long-delayed collection report catch-up. First of 2014 here! Winter 2013-2014 was an ugly one in Maine. A lot of ice, a lot of biting wind, and a surprising lot of snow. So the collection reports for January - February ended up being more sporadic than hoped. Still, I got out when I could, and collected what I could.

Monday, January 13. 1PM, two hours before low-tide but water already way down. 40 degrees, wind from southeast off the water. Tons of wrack had washed in early in the month from winter storms. The shore was still blanketed with it this day.
And of course with wrack comes:
Winter storms toss wild stuff up on Maine shores. Expected and unexpected. Such as this fish head, bigger than my foot.
The consensus at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute was that it came from a bluefin tuna. Sometimes the "scrap" parts of fish are used as bait for lobstermen and other fishermen. Or possibly this tuna met its gruesome end naturally somewhere out in the deep.

The ocean and her mysteries.

Other washups were more run-of-the-mill. Old can scraps, new can scraps. Bait bags, vents, rope -- stuff that only makes it past the outcrops at the head of the cove when a storm comes through.

All in all, not surprisingly, a busy day.
70 pcs of rope, about 125 ft total
160 pcs of nonrope debris
230 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 70
  • Fishing misc.: 78 (9 trap parts, 2 bait tins, 9 bait bags, 7 bumpers, 2 nameplates, 2 vent doors, 39 pcs of vinyl trap coating, 8 clawbands)
  • Food-related plastics: 13 (3 bottle scraps, cap o-ring, 7 cup scraps, ketchup packet, snack pack wrapper)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 9 (2 locally dropped cans, 6 can tops, 1 scrap)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 24 (6 bag scraps, 2 latex balloons, 2 mylar balloon scraps, balloon string, old nonfood bottlecap, bandage, old shovel scoop, clip-on cupholder, cord, 3 crate seals, 3 cable ties, faceplate/bezel, lumber tag)
  • Scrap plastics: 35 ( 20 > 1" , 15 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 1 (rag)
The age & wear on many of these items helps tell their story:
abraded toy shovel scoop
faceplate - bezel - thing
If we would stop putting more plastic in the sea, eventually much of it would wash its way back out where we could clean it up. But barring the former, no amount of the latter is going to change the game.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 11490
  • Total from fishing -- 10005 (87.1%)
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 2014
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 7158

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