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

  • The Company: RIBCRAFT designs and builds safe, durable, performance oriented rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) that fulfill the most demanding military and professional applications. With over twenty-five years experience, RIBCRAFT provides high quality professional grade RIBs and inflatables for military

  • 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

  • MN Nov-19#53  turbo, fea-
turing a rigid cast-iron cylinder block)
    November 2019 - Marine News page: 53

    D8 MH is an in-line 6-cylinder, 7.7-liter diesel engine with common- rail fuel injection, double overhead camshafts and twin-entry turbo, fea- turing a rigid cast-iron cylinder block and cylinder head. As a genset the D8 comes complete with engine, generator and monitor- ing system, all tested and ready

  • MN Nov-19#14  1970’s, the hulls became less rigid and more 
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    November 2019 - Marine News page: 14

    Back to evolution, as the steel alloy in boat hulls changed Boards at Michigan Technological University. in the early 1970’s, the hulls became less rigid and more It is no secret that R.W. Fernstrum & Company has ? exible. This led us to tighten up our quality control speci- been engineering and manufactur

  • MP Q3-19#24 INSIGHTS
THE ETHANE ERA EMERGES
By Aditya Aggarwal
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    Sep/Oct 2019 - Maritime Logistics Professional page: 24

    INSIGHTS THE ETHANE ERA EMERGES By Aditya Aggarwal he prospect of abundant and cheap ethane from U.S. shale and Naphtha (the alternative) remains at present levels, demand drilling is behind a surge in the number of projects investi- is expected to continue to quickly rise. T gating marine transport

  • MT Oct-19#23 Brandon’s team shows that the reach of plastic extends)
    October 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 23

    Brandon’s team shows that the reach of plastic extends far- Brandon said the discovery supports the idea of using plastic ther in the oceans. It chose Santa Barbara Basin to look for accumulation as a de? ning signi? er of the Anthropocene, a plastic buried in the sea? oor. There, relatively still

  • MT Oct-19#22 Case Study Plastics in the Ocean
Photo: © Alejandro/AdobeSto)
    October 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 22

    Case Study Plastics in the Ocean Photo: © Alejandro/AdobeStock Plastics in Marine Sediment An explosion since WWII he amount of plastic fragments in Santa Barbara The study is the ? rst of its kind in that it examined accumula- Basin sediments has been increasing exponentially tion of plastic over time

  • MN Sep-19#56 PEOPLE & COMPANY NEWS
NSRP  Dan-Bunkering 
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    September 2019 - Marine News page: 56

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  • MN Oct-19#53   sign and manufacture of Rigid In?  at- the Portland)
    October 2019 - Marine News page: 53

    U.S., DNV GL many years of experience in the de- skimmer boat during events held along can be more responsive to the localized sign and manufacture of Rigid In? at- the Portland harbor. Sea Machines’ needs of the industry as it grows while able Boats, liferafts, rescue boats and technology opens a new

  • MN Oct-19#22 . In fact, the second  ing rigid skeletal structures, prolonged)
    October 2019 - Marine News page: 22

    can be stopped before the wall it are among the possibilities, and in addition to endanger- must undergo severe decelerations. In fact, the second ing rigid skeletal structures, prolonged exposure can affect car can be expected to see ten times the accelerations felt circulation and rupture blood vessels

  • MN Mar-19#42 SAFETY
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    March 2019 - Marine News page: 42

    SAFETY four of the TPOs and have watched our customers learn. Sea change We have seen the auditors teach the mariners and reinforce Sub M is a sea change for the industry. You can’t contin- our message. We have seen companies improve. The TSMS ue to operate in the manner that you have always done it.

  • MN Mar-19#10 BY THE NUMBERS
Waterborne Freight Transportation in the)
    March 2019 - Marine News page: 10

    BY THE NUMBERS Waterborne Freight Transportation in the United States: 2018-2023 Despite the critical role that waterborne freight trans- tracted, smaller, less effcient mines were the frst to close, portation has played in the U.S. economy for more than and most of the mine closures were in the Appalachia

  • MR Sep-19#29  in two steps: the  featuring a rigid cast-iron cylinder block)
    September 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 29

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  • MT Jul-19#54 MTR 100
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    July 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 54

    MTR 100 Schmidt Marine Technology Partners Mark Schrope, Director No. of Employees: 3 www.schmidtmarine.org Schmidt Marine Technology Partners (SMTP) is a relatively new program of the Schmidt Family Foundation estab- Schmidt Ocean Institute lished in 2015. SMTP helps to grow early stage marine technologi

  • MT Jul-19#43  mission-based  recovery with Rigid Hull In?  atable Boats)
    July 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 43

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  • MT Jul-19#34 MTR 100
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    July 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 34

    MTR 100 ... the ones to watch ... Completely new modes of operation are entering the underwater domain for oil and gas operations and the tools that are being used could also be used across the ocean space. It’s been called a subsea space race – and it is a little like a Mars mission, with similar

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    July 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 17

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is to change people’s behavior, educat- with a)
    July 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 16

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  • MT Sep-19#14  Preserve Nantucket Sound, and  rigid sail powered autonomous)
    September 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 14

    Wind, Audra Parker from the Alli- operations. Ravi Paintal presented a several generations of tidal turbines in ance to Preserve Nantucket Sound, and rigid sail powered autonomous surface the East River in NYC. Marcus Gay of Amber Hewitt from the National Wild- vehicle that can be used to gather data

  • MT Sep-19#10  technology ?  rm Autonomous  rigid wing sail while the LiDAR)
    September 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 10

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  • MR Aug-19#71  
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Louisiana)
    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 71

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REGION REPORT THE MIDDLE EAST
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    August 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 66

    R REGION REPORT THE MIDDLE EAST Dubai DP World solidated cargo as well as easy connec- Rail and Abu Dhabi Ports to support the Saqr and Al Jazeera Port. “Each one of ect will make Saqr Port one of the largest tivity with container terminals in Khalifa growth and diversi? cation of the UAE the ports

  • MN Aug-19#70  building 
professional grade rigid in?  atable boats (RIBs))
    August 2019 - Marine News page: 70

    USA, LLC The Case: Built to order in the United States, RIBCRAFT is the only manufacturer who specializes exclusively in building professional grade rigid in? atable boats (RIBs). Serving all L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L LO O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O

  • MR Jul-19#29 Photo: The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection
A ‘Bird’s Eye’)
    July 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 29

    Photo: The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection A ‘Bird’s Eye’ view of the Ritz Carlton cruise ship as it will look when delivered later this year. To the right, a starboard view of the ship under construction. Photos: The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection real access to the sea. “The loft suites are itinerarie

  • MR Jun-19#28 2019
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    June 2019 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News page: 28

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LeeWay Marine
www.marinetechnologynews.)
    June 2019 - Marine Technology Reporter page: 4

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