June 2, 2009
After sailing 40,000 kilometres around the world and conducting studies in16 countries, Civil Engineering graduate student Bryson Robertson says the verdict is in on his international quest to catalogue ocean garbage - and the picture isn't pretty.
"The database we're accumulating, along with our own first-hand accounts of beaches, presents irrefutable evidence as to the polluted state of our oceans," says Mr. Robertson, who is using the multi-year voyage to complete his PhD. "It's a global problem requiring global co-operation."
Called the OceanGybe Global Research and Outreach Expedition, the Queen's research project is documenting and recording the effects of marine pollution, as well as studying the effects of topography on the breaking characteristics of ocean swells. The crew departed from Mexico on their boat, Khulula, in May 2007 and spent most of the year sailing across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand, where they spent the winter. In the spring of 2008 they continued their journey to Indonesia, and in October headed west across the Indian Ocean to South Africa.