Apparently our oceans are full of garbage

Ever since the reported disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, I have been alert for any new developments in the search for this missing airliner.  It is hard for me to understand that a passenger jet would disappear in such a manner without any information as to why the plane went off course and why the aircraft identification equipment was disabled.

There was a glimmer of hope that the airliner might be located when satellites began detecting objects in the Southern Indian Ocean, west of Australia.  Considering the vast expanse of that one area of the Earth’s oceans, surely large objects sighted there must be pieces of wreckage from the missing aircraft.  At least that’s what I thought when these stories were first reported.  I went from believing the plane would never be located to believing that the authorities might just get to the bottom of this mystery.  A report I read today proved to be very disheartening.  I have again arrived at the belief that we will never know what happened to this flight.

The first satellite discoveries of possible aircraft debris was in an area about 1,600 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.  When these first images were released by China, the authorities correlated the location of this debris with a possible final location of the aircraft as determined through satellite communications data.  That began the massive search effort in the remote area of the Southern Indian Ocean.  After several days of searching, the debris depicted in the satellite images could not be located.

More recently, new satellite images from an area about 1,000 miles west of Perth showed more items of debris in the water.  With this new discovery by satellite imagery, the estimated final flightpath of the missing airliner was changed to coincide with the location of these new images.  Unfortunately, a search of this area has not yielded any aircraft wreckage.  What it has shown, though, is that there is a lot of garbage in our oceans.  Much of what has been recovered is described as discarded fishing equipment and other flotsam.  Considering the size of the oceans on this planet, I find it very disturbing that there is so much garbage floating in such remote areas.

During one of my previous travels, I sailed from Hawaii to Kiribati. Kiribati is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.  During my time on the ocean, I did not see a lot of trash.  That trip was more than 10 years ago.  If so much garbage is being found in the open ocean a thousand miles from Australia, I can only imagine how much garbage has been dumped into our oceans.

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