Voyage to Kure

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. © Nan Marr, Ocean Futures Society