Voyage to Kure

Marine Debris

Jean-Michel Cousteau and the expedition team encounter piles and piles of marine debris that has either washed ashore or been transported to Laysan Island by foraging adult albatross. © Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society

Black-Footed Albatross

After searching for food for miles across the vast Pacific, a Black-Footed Albatross feeds its hungry chick a meal. While the meal contains nutritious fish eggs and squid, it also unfortunately includes tiny bits of plastic, picked up by the adult bird in the foraging process. © Tove Petterson, Ocean Futures Society

Mokumanamana

The island of Mokumanamana arises abruptly out of the blue waters of the Pacific. © Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society

Underwater Filming

Cameraman Yves Lefevre filming underwater with a High Definition camera. © Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society

Masked Boobie

A juvenile Masked Booby observed the team on a rocky outpost overlooking Mokumanamana, flanked on the left by a juvenile Frigate bird and an adult Frigate bird nesting on its right. © Tove Petterson, Ocean Futures Society

Spotted Eagle Rays

Spotted Eagle Rays grace the team with a "flyby" during a drift dive around Shark Point. © Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society

Underwater Filming

The team films Jean-Michel Cousteau and Holly Lohuis swimming through an overhang. © Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society

Lake Dive

Chief diver Blair Mott shows his enthusiasm as he prepares for this unusual dive in Laysan Lake. ©: Nan Marr, Ocean Futures Society

Miles

While exploring one of the most beautiful and remote beaches on Laysan Island, the sight of all kinds of debris confronts Jean-Michel Cousteau, stretching for miles along the shoreline. © Nan Marr, Ocean Futures Society

Cycle of Death

Jean-Michel Cousteau displays an array of plastic cigarette lighters, toys, vials, and other marine debris he collected during an inspection of the beach on remote Laysan Island. The debris is brought to the island by Albatross, which ingest plastic litter while foraging for food at sea. These birds and their chicks may regurgitate the plastics. Many times, however, the debris remains inside their gut cavity, causing death by starvation. As dead Albatross decompose, the plastics are re-released into the food chain continuing the negative cycle of death from marine debris.

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