Kwai, the motor-sailing cargo arrived and docked at the port of Honolulu, having caught more than 100 tons of fishing nets and consumer plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (also known as the Gyre).
It is stated that the catch marks the largest single cleanup at sea in the Gyre to date, and it is more than twice the Kwai’s haul from last year.
The vessel completed its 48-day at sea clean-up mission that began at Hilo on May 4. It only got under way after a three week self- imposed quarantine period to ensure the health of crew members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crew collected the waste with the help of specialized GPS satellite trackers, which were previously attached to drifting nets by volunteer yachts and ships. The ocean often sorts debris, so a tagged fishing net can lead to other nets and a density of debris. Drones and lookouts help the ship’s crew to hone in on the debris. They recover the litter, bag it and store it in the ship’s cargo hold for later recycling and repurposing.
In addition, the Kwai and Ocean Voyages Institute have already scheduled the second voyage to the Gyre departing the end of June. The length of a second summer leg will be determined by how successful Ocean Voyages Institute is in securing additional donations.