Rigid Plastics

  • How Biological Nets Are Taking On A New Purpose For An Old Problem

    Aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans last November, 1,500 miles from land, 38 researchers from Sea Education Association (SEA) studied a Brobdingnagian swath of Pacific Ocean that has become the temporary resting spot for thousands of tons of plastic. Commonly called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” the area has attracted significant media attention in the last decade but a surprising dearth of scientific attention. Contrary to popular opinion, the “Patch” is not a continuous field of debris, is not visible from space, nor is it an “island of trash.”  But it’s there. Every year almost 300 million tons of plastic are produced but it is estimated that only a tenth of it is recycled. Much of this plastic finds its way into coastal waters before it is swept out to the open ocean by surface currents. These regions, known as gyres, are some of the most remote areas of the ocean.

    There are five subtropical gyres - one located in every ocean - and each contains huge quantities of millimeter-sized pieces of plastic. From the deck of the ship on a calm day with no swell, this plastic debris look like confetti. But when the winds pick up, these plastics become almost invisible to the naked eye.
    “If you are not specifically looking for plastic with a net or doing visual surveys,” says Emelia DeForce, Chief Scientist with SEA aboard the Seamans, “chances are that you will not see the plastic because it is so small in size.”
    Which means that researchers studying plastic pollution need more than mere pool nets to get an accurate measurement of just how much plastic is in the ocean. To solve the problem of plastics in our ocean, or even just to study it, oceanographic technology needs to be conscious of the emerging science.
     

    Surface Nets
    The first studies of plastic pollution began in the early 1970s when researchers with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) threw a rectangular net into the coastal waters of New England to collect organisms residing in the surface waters of the ocean, called the neuston layer.
    The net they used was one that had been developed less than 10 years before by oceanographers frustrated by previous nets that were towed from a vessel’s stern. This rectangular net, aptly called a “neuston net,” was released adjacent to the vessel and was supported by a boom that could be lowered and raised. The advantage of it being deployed adjacent to the ship minimized any interference bow waves might have on the organisms it was sampling. 
    Along with different organisms, the team found two types of polystyrene spherules. These spherules, still used today, become Styrofoam when mixed with a foaming agent. Even in the 1970s, the implications of plastic debris were recorded in the scientific literature. Of the 14 species of fish recovered in the nets, eight were found with plastics in their stomachs. The scientists also determined that the spherules had absorbed polychlorinated bisphenyls (PCBs) from the sea water. Researchers today worry that if fish consume these spherules, which commonly resemble fish eggs, that PCBs and other persistant organic pollutants (POPs) will bioaccumulate and magnify up the food chain, eventually impacting humans.
    Researchers from SEA implemented the neuston net into their research program in the mid 1980s. Since then they have collected more than 100,000 pieces of plastic and currently possess the largest data set on plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean. In 2001, they began the task of quantifying plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean.
    But one issue that has consistently plagued the neuston net was in its design. Scientists have observed that in “swelly” conditions, the neuston net tends to bounce from wave to wave.
    To get accurate measurements of what exists on the surface of the ocean, scientists must know how long the net was in the water. For example, if the net was deployed for half an hour and was being dragged at a speed of 2 knots, researchers can assume that the net was in the water for one nautical mile. However if the net bounces out of the water between waves, researchers have no idea how much area the net covered.
    In 1981 a new surface sampling net entered the oceanographic scene. The manta net attempted to fix some of the design errors of the neuston net by attaching a large wing to the top of it, making the net look similar to that of the manta ray. Along with the wing, the net also includes a counter-balancing weight, sinking the net and preventing it from bouncing from swell to swell.
    “The manta net has been the standard for many years,” said Kara Lavender Law, research professor with SEA. “SEA has continued to use the neuston net for a couple of reasons, namely for consistency with our historical archive, and the ease with which it can be deployed, recovered and processed.”
    “Both nets tow at the surface of the ocean,” said DeForce. “The neuston net is easier to deploy because it does not require a hydrowinch and it takes up less space on the ship.”
    Researchers with the Algalita Foundation and 5gyres, organizations also focused on the issue of plastic pollution, have begun modifying the manta net so that it can be used on a variety of vessels, even vessels not typically associated with oceanographic research. By changing the size of the manta net and adding detachable wings, they have recently created the “Suitcase Manta Trawl”. Another variant, the “Hi-Speed Trawl”, has a considerably smaller net opening that allows a vessel to tow the net at higher speeds.

    Below the Surface
    “On a cruise in 2009 in the North Pacific,” said Giora Proskurowski, a Principal Investigator with SEA, “there was this period where the wind died down. I noticed on the surface of the ocean way more white flecks. It was calm and the lack of turbulence allowed each piece of plastic to rise to the surface.” In windy weather, scientists have discovered that plastic tends to get mixed into the water column. This means that the amount of plastic that has been sampled is significantly lower than what actually exists.
    “I went back through every tow we had data on and looked at the average wind speed during a tow and compared it to the number of pieces of plastic for every tow in the Pacific and Atlantic subtropical gyres and it was a pretty obvious connection that at high wind speed you had low plastic,” said Proskurowski.
    To sample plastics at depth, scientists with SEA used a Tucker trawl during their Plastics expedition in 2010. Like with the manta and neuston nets, the Tucker trawl was initially designed to study plankton. The net is designed to open at a discrete depth, such as five meters, and once triggered by a messenger, close at that same depth.
    But in 2012, SEA received a slightly modified MOCNESS (Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System) to study plastics in the water column with more precision.
    “The Tucker trawl is strictly mechanical: there are no electrical components,” said Erich Horgan of Biological Environmental Sampling Systems, Inc., the company that designed the modified MOCNESS for SEA. “People can put on free standing modules that might be able to measure temperature, salinity, depth but the MOCNESS was the system that allowed a user to see ‘what was going on at depth’ and be able to influence the depth at which to trip the nets.”
    Horgan says also that the MOCNESS has a vast range of applications. Aside from conductivity, temperature and depth, the MOCNESS can include devices to measure salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen and light level. They have also created other modified MOCNESS nets to study predator/prey interactions at depths up to 6,000 meters.
    During the 2012 expedition, SEA researchers studying plastic in the Pacific Ocean found concentrations of plastic down to 10 meters below the surface. Concentrations, they found, were consistently lowest at greater depth and highest one meter below the surface.

    Clean Up
    Media sensation over the issue of plastic debris has spawned an overwhelming question. How do we clean up the mess we have created? Where do we start?
    Larger pieces, such as derelict fishing nets, have successfully been picked up by NOAA’s Marine Debris program. In July 2012, they successfully removed 50 tons of debris from coral reefs around the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, considered to be one of the most remote regions of the world. To survey large areas of the ocean, a pilot project was launched in 2008 that used unmanned aircraft systems.
    Smaller pieces however, like the ones predominantly collected by researchers with SEA last November, remain another challenge.
    “One of the difficulties of picking up ocean trash on the surface is the size,” said Rachael Miller, founder of Rozalia Project. “It is often very small and surrounded by organic matter.”
    “Rozalia Project is working on methods to pick up floating marine debris, whatever the material, in a way that reduces bycatch and can be scaled for deployment off of fishing fleets and other vessels who transit both in and out of harbors and across long distances. In addition we are learning everything we can about floating marine debris, especially in urban waters, so we can work on solutions: prevention and education programs that stop the problem at the source.”

     

    (As published in the January/February 2013 edition of Marine Technologies - www.seadiscovery.com)
     

  • Hurtigruten orders third hybrid-powered expedition cruise shipGrowth in the global cruise sector continues, as Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, signed an MOU with shipbuilder Kleven Verft AS for the construction of a third hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship. Tom Mulligan

  • rescue boat, used by the Royal National Life-Boat Institution and the Royal Navy for several years, is now available in the U.S. The Atlantic 21, a semirigid, selfrighting craft with waterproofed engines and instrumentation, immediately restarts after a capsize. The vessel's fiberglass planing hull

  • Solidur Plastics Co., Delmont, Pa., supplied an Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) marine fender system for the locks at the Panama Canal to protect oceangoing ships from the damaging impacts of bumping into the lockwalls. Jorge Quijano, chief of the Locks Division, Panama Canal, said

  • —Literature Available Hayward Industrial Products, Inc., Elizabeth, N.J., recently added a 3-inch and 4-inch duplex plastic basket strainer to their product line. The strainers are made of polyvinyl chloride and contain no metal, and therefore are corrosionresistant. They will handle flow rates up to

  • Teekay Couplings launched its new Teekay Plastlock Pipe Coupling at SMM in Hamburg, Germany. Designed to enable simple, rapid and permanent joining of plain-ended plastic pipes, the product is designed to greatly increase the ability of the marine industry to specify plastic pipes in builds and therefore

  • —Literature Offered The Zodiac Hurricane Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) combines the wave cutting capability of a rigid hull with the safety features of an inflatable, creating an ideal rescue boat. Based on a design by Admiral Hoare, former director of England's Royal National Lifeboat Institute

  • Halmatic, one of the leading U.K. commercial and military boatbuilders, has announced a contract to supply four Pacific 32 wheelhouse rigid inflatable boats, three Arctic 22 rigid inflatable boats and one RTK Marine 29-ft. (9-m) Logistic Support Boat to the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). The

  • The Nor-Shipping 2015 Young Entrepreneur Winner shows the way forward. Drawn from the palace for the event, the King of Norway looks more solemn than many are used to seeing him, as he walks the catwalk to bestow honors and the Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur prize on a young Dutch citizen. The 21-year-old

  • Surface currents in the upper 1 ocean are very important in driving the fate of marine debris and pollutants but are also challenging to measure. Tracking the upper ocean in an effective manner may require massive deployment of GPS tracked drifter buoys, which until now were expensive, cumbersome and quite

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  • InPro Corp., manufacturer of IPC Door and Wall Protection Systems, introduces SS Sanparrel, a Coast Guard approved rigid vinyl sheet material designed to provide heavyduty impact protection for walls and fixtures throughout a ship SS Sanparrel by IPC is made of .030- in. (,8mm) thick rigid vinyl

  • MT Apr-19#60 Products Buoyancy
DeepWater Buoyancy’s DeepWater Benthic)
    April 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 60

    Products Buoyancy DeepWater Buoyancy’s DeepWater Benthic Lander DeepWater Buoyancy claims to be components, there are also plastic, com- lander is free-fall deployed to the sea- the world’s largest supplier of subsea posite, polyurethane and fabricated met- ? oor to collects data. The product is buoyancy

  • MN May-19#10 BY THE NUMBERS
Tugboat and Towboat 
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    May 2019 - Marine News page: 10

    BY THE NUMBERS Tugboat and Towboat Manufacturing in the United States A recent report from Amadee+Company provides a The report identi? es C&C Marine as the largest Tow- unique, ? rst-time market and competitive analysis of the boat builder in terms of production value, followed by size, segmentation

  • MR Apr-19#56 T
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    April 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 56

    T TECH FILES AUTONAV ROBOTIC BOAT Royston Completes OSV Overhaul Yanmar has undertaken devel- opment of underlying tech- Work on overhauling diesel engines nologies for robotic boats and on an advanced diving support vessel auto-docking. The propulsion was recently completed by Royston. company has

  • MN Apr-19#57 PRODUCTS
Panel Systems Lightens 
Up with ‘Sandwich’)
    April 2019 - Marine News page: 57

    PRODUCTS Panel Systems Lightens Up with ‘Sandwich’ Range Panel Systems has introduced a new range of lightweight structural sandwich panels with a ThermHex core. The panels can be speci? ed with a variety of facings, including powder coated aluminum (0.5mm- 4.0mm), anodized aluminum DuroWipers

  • MR Mar-19#37 CRUISE SHIPPING • LINDBLAD EXPEDITIONS
NOW 68 AND LIVING)
    March 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 37

    CRUISE SHIPPING • LINDBLAD EXPEDITIONS NOW 68 AND LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY’S WEST VILLAGE, SVEN LINDBLAD HAILS FROM SWEDEN. EARLY ADULTHOOD WAS IN KENYA WHERE HE LIVED UNTIL FROM 1969 TO 1977. NATURE, WILD PLACES AND PEOPLE WHO UNDER- STOOD REAL SURVIVAL CHAL- LENGES IN AFRICA SHAPED HIS FORMATIVE

  • MR Mar-19#36 Photo: Sven-Olof Lindblad
Photo: Sven-Olof Lindblad
Photo:)
    March 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 36

    Photo: Sven-Olof Lindblad Photo: Sven-Olof Lindblad Photo: Stewart Cohen Photo: Sven-Olof Lindblad Photo: Adam Cropp eliminating plastics in our supply chains. The amounts navigator, curious and deeply concerned about the fu- of the world. Clearly, people will try to capitalize on of plastic in our

  • MT Jan-19#38 “T  ere is acknowledgement that the commercial 
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    January 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 38

    “T ere is acknowledgement that the commercial sector will need to leverage advances made in the defense sector. But for this to become reality, opera- tors need to be able to trust the AUV will complete its mission and return with useable data, or take an alternate action.” Image: Teledyne Marine

  • MP Q1-19#26 CRUISE MARkETS
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    Jan/Feb 2019 - Maritime Logistics Professional page: 26

    CRUISE MARkETS Another way of defning the market is that they ofer unique experiences, with emphasis on unique, focusing on the natural and cultural environments by visiting environmentally sensitive areas. They capitalize on their small size and shallow draft and low passenger numbers to go where the

  • MN Feb-19#35 MOORING SAFETY
provides excellent dimensional stabil-)
    February 2019 - Marine News page: 35

    MOORING SAFETY provides excellent dimensional stabil- strength and are supplied as a complete bank protection boards and bridges. ity in the manufacture of ropes for assembly and fabrication for Lifeline The approach has been to design the naval applications and is ideal where and Flagstaff guy lines

  • MR Jan-19#57 T
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    January 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 57

    T TECH FILES 180 FRP SERIES FILTER: ing maximum power of 650 hp at 2,530 FPT, Fincantieri Partner rpm and maximum torque of 2,150 Nm SEA WATER FILTRATION FPT Industrial announced a partner- at 1,700 rpm. ship with Fincantieri, as FPT was cho- sen by Fincantieri as a preferred partner The 180 Fiberglass

  • MR Jan-19#55 T
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    January 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 55

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  • MR Jan-19#54 T
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    January 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 54

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  • MR Jan-19#40 MARITIME EMISSIONS • Hurtigruten Pushes the Borders for)
    January 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 40

    MARITIME EMISSIONS • Hurtigruten Pushes the Borders for Green Travel Plastic-free advocating a ban on HFO and stricter regu- Facing the three all-glass elevators, the Adding to the company’s green creden- lations to be applied to vessels that operate screen will reach up to and include Deck 10 tials is

  • MR Jan-19#39 Growth in the global cruise sector continues, as 
Hurtigrute)
    January 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 39

    Growth in the global cruise sector continues, as Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, signed an MOU with shipbuilder Kleven Verft AS for the construction of a third hybrid-pow- ered expedition cruise ship. Tom Mulligan, Mari- time Reporter’s Science & Technology writer, re- ports

  • MN Jan-19#60  submit  ensure safe operation, rigid sanitation  meals, to)
    January 2019 - Marine News page: 60

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  • MN Dec-18#56 PRODUCTS
ABB Ability Marine Pilot 
Vision for Ship Automatio)
    December 2018 - Marine News page: 56

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  • MR Nov-18#91  tested. 
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    November 2018 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 91

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  • MR Nov-18#81 New Antifouling Method for Workboats
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    November 2018 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 81

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    October 2018 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 55

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  • MT Oct-18#8 Trending on MarineTechnologyNews.com
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    October 2018 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 8

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  • MR Oct-18#81 COATINGS & CORROSION CONTROL
Poly?  ake Coatings
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    October 2018 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 81

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    October 2018 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 40

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  • MT Sep-18#60 People & Company News
Photo by Julianna Smith, RoboNation
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    September 2018 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 60

    People & Company News Photo by Julianna Smith, RoboNation ing and Operations Research, 1990). He Students Face Off Underwater Trelleborg Building has worked in industry for Mobil Ship- Nearly 50 high school and university Hyperbaric Test Site ping and Transportation Company, the teams from around the

  • MT Sep-18#56 New Tech
Olis:
Manipulator Control System
Blue Robotics
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    September 2018 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 56

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