There are hundreds of vessels sailing around the oceans of the world every day. As they do so they will inevitably come across ocean debris and know exactly where it is. That sort of information is incredibly useful in helping us to understand how much pollution there is in the ocean, what it is, where it is and potentially where it is going. It could even be used to track pollution so that vessels equipped to clear it up can be given accurate information on its location.
We are developing The Big Ocean Pollution Project to provide a simple solution to collecting this information. The idea is to develop a website and database along with a mobile App that will allow yacht crews, commercial sailors, passengers, in fact anyone on a boat out at sea, to geotag pollution in the ocean when they see it, describe what it is and upload a photo. That information will then automatically be uploaded to an open access database which anyone can see. This can be used in scientific analysis which in turn can help drive policy. It’s a pretty simple idea but at the moment there are no projects of this kind being undertaken!