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The Longest Swim’s Biggest Surprise: Plastic Everyday Everywhere In The Pacific Ocean

Courtesy of Paul Lecomte, The Longest Swim, Pacific Ocean.

Paul Lecomte, the project manager for The Longest Swim, Ben Lecomte‘s transoceanic stage swim attempt across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco reported from Oahu, “It’s been now a month that we touched land with Ben and the crew in Honolulu, Hawaii.

It has been a long journey, full of surprises and challenges.

Stopping here [in Hawaii] isn’t quite what we were expecting when Ben jumped in the water in Choshi, Japan last June. We are still far from San Francisco and our goals, but this expedition has been an eye-opening experience for all of us.

During his swim, Ben was able to connect with the ocean like never before, with countless encounters with wildlife in an extraordinary environment. We also discovered the extent of plastic pollution in areas we expected to be unaffected. Even in the most remote parts over 2000 nautical miles offshore, we found floating debris (1 every 3 minute on average) and micro plastic (2 every minute), everyday, and everywhere.

The 1000+ samples that we collected will hopefully help scientists to learn more about the consequences of this contamination, but the alarm bell is already ringing.

Ben is looking forward to putting his wetsuit again. The team is committed to fight against this virus of plastic pollution, in any possible way. We are currently working [on] a new expedition starting this summer. This next adventure will aim at completing the first transpacific dataset on plastic pollution, and use Ben’s swim as a catalyst for change.”

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