Tag Archives: ocean trash

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 15, 2019

bearnuke

“Polar bear leaps onto a Russian nuclear submarine on the search for food after the crew dumped bags of rubbish into the Arctic.” And with that headline we’re off and running with an item that’s a perfect polar trifecta of weirdness.

SVALBARD SOVEREIGNTY: Norway’s royal family sees polar bears, picks up beach trash, visits museums and does other “typical” stuff during weeklong vacation

Royalcover

They were just another family taking a weeklong holiday in Svalbard.

They got a reprieve from the mainland heat while gazing at the fjords and wildlife during sometimes chilly boat trips. They removed ocean trash from beaches where they stopped. They learned about polar science during a stop in Ny-Ålesund and whale hunting during a museum visit in Longyearbyen. They exchanged handcrafted gifts with locals, and departed with fond memories of the sights and people they met.

And all of Norway was abuzz about the details that were kept largely secret until the very end.

Norway’s entire royal family wrapped up a private vacation in a very public way on Thursday with a visit to The University Centre in Svalbard to commemorate its 25th anniversary, as well as the adjacent Svalbard Museum where – unlike commoners – they got to play with ancient whaling gear and stroke the fur of a stuffed polar bear.

Pick of the litter: Removing big pieces of trash from Isfjorden improves beaches; small pieces explain how it got there

aifreport

The hundreds of volunteers who spent their days and weekends last summer clearing beaches near Longyearbyen of trash are likely to most remember the huge rusting oil barrels and other large items that dominated muscle and mass during the pickups. But researchers spending months afterward analyzing debris are far more interested in the tiny bots collected from tiny areas cleaned by those volunteers.

Both groups are being credited with making significant environmental contributions to Project Isfjorden, in ways as different as their results.

Beach bummed: Staff at Bjørnøya collect nearly 400 kilograms of trash on shores near station, lots more remains

bjornoyatrash1

Kristine Tofte decided to walk a bit beyond her usual spot on a beach when she came upon an now all-too-familiar story that still shocks those experiencing it for the first time: a coastline more reminiscent of an urban landfill than the pristine environmental “crown jewel” of Norway.

“I found car tires, nets, snuff boxes, food and fish boxes,” she told ABC Nyheter. “Everything you can imagine.”