Regardless of the exact size, mass, and location of the garbage patch, human-made debris does not belong in our oceans and waterways.
Debris found in this area can easily be ingested by marine species causing choking, starvation, and other impairments.
Because there has been little scientific research conducted in this area, the exact size, content, and location of the garbage patch are difficult to accurately predict. Marine debris concentrates in various areas of the North Pacific – not just the garbage patch.
It appears that the garbage patch referred to in the media is within the North Pacific Subtropical High, an area between Hawaii and California. The North Pacific Subtropical High is not a stationary area, but one that moves and changes. This area is defined by the NOAA National Weather Service as “a semi-permanent, subtropical area of high pressure in the North Pacific Ocean.”Contrary to what its name implies, the area is not a concentration of trash visible in satellite or aerial photographs. While litter items can be found in this area, along with other debris such as derelict fishing nets, much of the debris mentioned in the media refers to small bits of floating plastic debris– difficult to see with the naked eye.