|Students sort plastics from Sargassum|
When we sample the open-ocean for plastics, we often times collect the Sargassum weed as well, and that's because they both can float and are impacted similarly by the same ocean dynamics. So when the ocean is really rough, a lot of the Sargassum gets broken up and washed down into the water column as do the plastics. When there is a convergence zone, the Sargassum will accumulate on the surface and ditto the plastics. Usually this means that when there is a lot of Sargassum, we will find a lot of plastic. But today, we were stumped. Of the three samples we took, only the first one filled our sampling net. The other two had very little weed in them yet both had more plastics than the first.
|Angela Tomassini observing Sargassum biota|