A captain reported debris off of the coast of Hawaii
LIHUE — Passengers aboard Makana Charters’ Na Pali Kai II received a bit of an unwelcome surprise during their lunch break Friday afternoon. Capt. Mike Birchett said he was about one mile off the coast of Kalalau Beach when he spotted a large buoy — not uncommon by itself. However, the buoy proved to be just the beginning of what he described as a massive amount of marine debris. “You had to be there to see it,” he said. The ribbon-like debris line was between 10 and 20 yards wide, up to two miles long and contained everything from car-sized bundles of commercial fishing nets to buoys, entangled ropes, large plastic fuel cans and buckets, according to Birchett.
Most likely this is debris from the tsunami which hit Japan back in March, 2011. Of some interest, this debris is like a plume; it flows from site far away. Of note, the debris is not spread homogeneously, but rather heterogeneously. It is much more concentrated in some areas than others.