Ocean Voyages Institute collecting ghost fishing nets from the Pacific gyre


PACIFIC GYRE - Ghost fishing nets are a major problem in any sea or ocean.



Over a 25-day period, which is being described as the largest-ever pacific ocean cleanup, non-profit environmental group ocean voyages institute has removed 40 tons of plastic from the great pacific garbage patch and is planning efforts to remove more.

A California based cargo ship called ‘kwai’ from ocean voyages institute set for sea on may 23, searching for ghost nets and consumer plastics using GPS to track the trash. OV institute had spent the year prior distributing these trackers to mariners and asking them to leave the devices with the ghost nets they encounter.

Once activated, these bowling ball-sized trackers signal the nets’ locations in real time. mapping each tracker, OV institute were able to collect the nets, the reusable devices, and other plastics found on the way.



Seal caught in a ghost fishing net



Returning on June 18 in a Honolulu, Hawaii harbor with the 40 tons of plastic waste in tow. Crowley is planning an even larger cleanup for 2020, which will use 150 reusable trackers. each one costs close to $1,600 but are also proving useful in understanding how trash travels and accumulates.


‘From our experience, where we would find one net, we would find more nets,’ Mary Crowley, founder of ocean voyages institute, told Hawaii news now. ‘the problem with plastic is it just lasts forever. so these nets continue killing marine life until they’re taken out of the ocean.’

As for the waste collected, the majority of it will be collected and be taken to H-power, the Honolulu program of waste energy recovery, which will turn it into electricity before it is sold to Hawaiian electric and distributed to local consumers.

‘It’s our goal to have about 150 of them to hand out this year,’ said Crowley. ‘our plan is to duplicate this very successful mission next year for a three month period.’




The Ocean Voyages Institute (OVI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1979 by a group of international sailors, educators, and conservationists with a mission of teaching maritime arts and sciences and preserving the world’s oceans. OVI is dedicated to providing sail training opportunities to youth on a worldwide basis as well as providing access to the ocean world and educational programs. In 2009, Project Kaisei was launched to focus on major ocean clean-up and to raise awareness regarding the global problem of marine debris/ocean trash.




In 2009, Project Kaisei was established to increase the understanding and the scale of plastic marine debris, its impact on our ocean environment, and how we can introduce solutions for both prevention and clean-up. To accomplish these objectives, Project Kaisei is serving as a catalyst to bring together public and private collaborators to design, test and implement breakthroughs in science, prevention and remediation.




40 TONS - Any way you look at it this is a giant haul of plastic representing life for all the animals that would have fallen foul of entanglement.





FusionStorm Foundation - was established in 2009 to raise awareness about the complex environmental issues facing the planet today. John Varel, CEO of FusionStorm, Inc, a leading systems integrator and managed services provider based in San Francisco was alarmed by the increase of plastic trash accumulating in the world’s ocean. The foundation’s first project is to support the work of OVI and its ocean clean up initiative, Project Kaisei. fusionstormfoundation.org


BIR - is the international trade association of the recycling industries. Around 70 countries are represented through national trade associations and individual companies involved in recycling. BIR comprises four commodity divisions: iron and steel, non ferrous metals, paper and textiles, and has committees dealing with stainless steel and special alloys, plastics and rubber. BIR’s primary goals are to promote recycling and recyclability, thereby conserving natural resources, protecting the environment and facilitating free trade of secondary raw materials. Project Kaisei represents an innovative constructive approach to addressing a problem that would not have been there if recycling had been promoted and implemented by all nations. By collaborating together with Project Kaisei, the BIR believes benefits will come to both organizations, as well as the whole planet.


Cohn & Wolfe - To help draw attention to the Plastic Vortex and its mission, Project Kaisei has enlisted the support and global expertise of Cohn & Wolfe, one of the world’s leading communications agencies. Cohn & Wolfe is renowned for its creativity and digital and social media skills, and it’s one of the first agencies to offer a full-service global sustainability practice. Its annual Green Brands survey – now in its sixth year – has become the foremost study of consumers’ perception of green business and behaviors, their level of involvement in improving the state of the environment, and which brands they think are best at being green.


As a communications partner, Cohn & Wolfe is helping to build awareness around the world for Project Kasei and the problem of the Plastic Vortex through outreach and initiatives that inspire people to act and advocate for the cause. Cohn & Wolfe has more than 1,000 communications professionals in 55 offices around the world, and has embraced Project Kasei’s mission as its own. In fact, every Cohn & Wolfe employee will devote time, energy and ideas to the mission in 2010 and beyond.


Sea Tel® - specializes in Marine Stabilized Antenna Systems for Satellite Communications (two-way communications), Satellite Television-at-Sea (DBS/DTH, TV-at-Sea), Broadband-at-Sea, Voice and Data Services. Sea Tel has proprietary technology that assures you get a stable satellite signal, and one you can count on even in rough seas and gale force winds.


Sea Tel products combine the highest levels of performance, reliability and affordability. Authorized Sea Tel agents and factory service technicians provide outstanding service and support. Since eighty percent of Sea Tel’s revenue is from international sales, you can find servicing agents throughout the world. Sea Tel has more marine stabilized antenna systems installed and operating around the world than anyone. Look to the Leader. Look to Sea Tel.


Marlink - is a global satellite communications leader, providing maritime customers with one source for an entire range of voice and data solutions backed by the industry’s most trusted service and support network. Across its wide range of satellite communications products and solutions, Marlink routes communications through its own teleports to ensure superior quality, reliability and flexibility for Marlink customers. With offices worldwide, including Athens, Brussels, Dubai, Hamburg, Houston, London, Oslo, Washington, D.C., Singapore and Tokyo, Marlink delivers the widest choice in satellite communications solutions matched with expert personal support available day or night, from anywhere.


The Coca-Cola Company - wants a world where their packaging is no longer seen as waste, but as a valuable resource for future use. The international giant is hard at work finding ways to improve the sustainability of its packaging across the product lifecycle.


Lush Cosmetics - believes in making effective products from fresh, organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics. Lush invents its own products and fragrances. It makes them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients, and tell you when they were made.


Lush believes in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans. The company believes in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.


The Lush team believes in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again. They believe their products are good value, that we should make a profit and that the customer is always right. * They also believe words like fresh and organic have honest meaning beyond marketing.


Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems - is a leader in natural nutrition since 1981. Based in Santa Cruz, Rainbow Light produces the best-selling natural food-based supplements. In 2010, Rainbow Light transitioned all bottled products to EcoGuard™ bottles made from 100 percent recycled, BPA-free and FDA approved plastic, reducing carbon footprint by 92% and keeping millions of bottles from our environment.


For more information visit www.rainbowlight.com


City Paper Metals | Deutsche Bank | GE Satellite | Gellert Family Foundation | HSBC Bank | Pacific Basin Shipping

RS Platou Singapore | US Food Service | Whatley Foundation | Wiancko Charitable Foundation






Ocean Conservancy welcomes the opportunity to partner with Project Kaisei on its 2010 voyage. It is inspiring to work with this dedicated team — a team that has already done so much to draw attention to the challenge of trash in our ocean. For a quarter of a century, Ocean Conservancy has organized the world’s largest volunteer effort on behalf of ocean health, the International Coastal Cleanup. We’re proud that September’s landmark 25th anniversary event will be launched aboard Project Kaisei, with a cleanup of debris from this part of the Pacific Ocean that has come to represent the global nature of the marine debris threat.


Office of Environment Health Hazard | Marshell Arts | Neidpryed | Orca | Quick Silver Foundation | Samy's Camera | Unite








Mary Crowley, President

“Ocean Voyages Institute”
2320 Marinship #110
Sausalito CA 94965, USA






Ghost fishing net catching and pulling onboard






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* BAN - Basel Convention Action Network

* Boyan Slat's ocean booms

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* Earth Day - Fact sheet ocean plastic

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* 5 Gyres Institute

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* Junk Raft - plastic awareness voyage

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* Plastic Oceans Org

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* Surfers Against Sewage

* Surrey University PIRATE & Triton

* Sussex Bay - Coastline marine rewilding project

* World Oceans Day

* WRAP - Waste & Resources Action Programme




Ocean Voyages Institute is not alone in the fight against plastic waste in our oceans ....



Huge ghost fishing net on the ocean




















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