top of page

MARINE DEBRIS TRAWLS

Get students out of the classroom and up close to science they can touch

Marine Debris - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program defines marine debris as, “any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes”.

Marine Debris - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program defines marine debris as, “any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes”.

Marine Debris - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program defines marine debris as, “any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes”.

SEA - Sustainability, Education, Action

Why is trawling necessary?

Marine debris is a global issue that can have many negative impacts including:

  • Threats to navigation

  • Damage to ships and fishing equipment 

  • Risks of ingestion by, and entanglement of, marine species

  • Smothering fragile habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds

  • Decreased tourism, recreation, fisheries, ecosystem functions, quality of life, and economies

Marine debris is most easily removed from coastlines, however, trawls collect debris that remains in the ocean.

What is Seaside Sustainability Doing?

Seaside Sustainability facilitates marine debris trawls according to NOAA protocol.

These trawls involve the outrigging of nets on either side of a boat, outside of the wake, as the boat travels at 1-3 knots for approximately 15 minutes.

Macro-debris can be recorded and discarded while micro-debris is evaluated in a laboratory setting.

There are also opportunities for students to get involved in these trawls! Contact us at info@seasidesustainability.org or 978.381.3302 for more information.

See what we are doing in Marine!

milemarker20.jpg

Nets are cast off our boats to collect floating marine debris as we performed the trawls.

Brooks.jpg

Sample collection jar being filled after a completed trawl to be transported and analyzed in a laboratory setting.

Sample.jpg

The samples collected are then analyzed using laboratory facilities to separate and quantify the collected microplastics.

Examples of Seaside Sustainability Trawling Results

Annisquam River

16 pieces of plastic collected, weighing 16.8mg

Ipswich Bay

10 pieces of plastic collected, weighing 27.3mg

bottom of page