A New Perspective on Deep Ocean Debris


MBARI put together this video, compiled from footage from their ROVs, about trash that accumulates in the deep sea. It's very well done, and I'm glad they put it together. I think it's important to show more than just the cool creatures and geologic formations underwater -- we should include the sights of how humans are impacting the ecosystem.

This brings up one of the most common questions I hear about OpenROV:

"Aren't you worried about adding to the plastic in the oceans by sending these ROVs in?"

My answer: No.

First off, we have every intention of bringing the ROV back. A lost ROV is bad news. Not as bad as losing a million dollar ROV, but still nothing we want to experience.

Second, as you can see from the video, ocean debris is a massive issue. Even with the small chance that an ROV is lost, the impact is infinitesimally small compared to the potential of giving more people the opportunity to view and engage with the ocean.


Citizen stewardship, brought about by initiatives like OpenROV and the marine research institutes in the area, will further educate and empower the community to: 1. become aware of our impact to the ocean and 2. allow the ability to affect positive change.


"Citizen Stewardship"

I love that term. Thanks Jim!