Video: Underwater junkyard off the California coast

by B. N. Sullivan

We've posted several articles about a nasty ocean environmental issue: marine debris.  Since this is one of our pet peeves, we have repeatedly reminded divers and beachgoers to deposit their trash in proper receptacles or to take it home with them.  Moreover, we have asked them to pick up and properly dispose of debris they find on the beach and in the water, including abandoned nets and fishing tackle, even if they did not put it there to begin with.

Being mindful about trash such as picnic remains and general litter can help to reduce damage to reefs, the pollution of waterways, and the risk of entanglement by marine wildlife -- and that's a good thing. But a much more serious and pervasive problem exists as well: using the ocean as a dump!

Have a look at this Fox News video, and you'll see what we mean:

If the video does not play or display properly above, click here to view it on YouTube.

Thanks to @scubadivergirls and Deep Sea News for alerting us about this video.


  1. Last night I started to read the section on Monterey Canyon in Voyage of the Turtle (Carl Safina). The water depth reaches 500 metres within five kilometres of shore. An awful lot of damage could be done before anyone noticed, if it weren't for the sub crews and TV news spots.
    I'll try to remember to take garbage bags the next time we go beachcombing.

  2. Not that I doubt it's a current problem, but those videos used in the spot seem to date from November 2002.

    PS : Monterey Canyon gets to hundreds of meters deep not 50km from shore, but within 1km! You can get to a far-beyond-scuba trench with an easy swim from Monastery Beach in Carmel

  3. Unbelievable! I always try to help clean things up when I can, but that is crazy

  4. We have the same problem here in Sri Lanka...I'm always coming up from dives with plastic bags stuffed into by BCD. Nets are a bit tough to bring up because someone of them are pretty big and can entangle divers, but we still try our best. Unfortunately for most people the ocean is out of sight, out of mind.


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Bobbie & Jerry