Wednesday, 30 January 2008


This is the Nana Banana bloco we will be just in front of this doing our performance.


Absolutely amazing but Global Ocean and Mark McGowan will be at the very front of the carnival and leading all the blocos around the route. We are all very exicited and cant wait to begin. Today we had a press conference at the yacht club and also went back to the dump run by Vega to wrap the net and plastic for transportation down to the beach. Also we will be supported by two workers from Vega. Everyone has been wonderful to us and helped enoumously.

Confira programação para o carnaval de Salvador circuito Barra - Ondina

Horário Entidade Atração
17:00 Performace do Projeto da ONG Fundação Global Ocean Artista inglês Mark Mcgowan
17:30 BABY-TRIBALA Sam Hop (Bambam)
18:00 COCOBAMBU Asa de Aguia
18:30 TRIMIX Trem de Pouso
19:30 EU VOU / MULEKERA Negra Cor
20:00 CERVEJA & CIA Ivete Sangalo
20:30 YES BAHIA CLUBE Banda Cheiro de Amor
21:00 NU OUTRO Banda Eva
21:30 FISSURA / VUMBORA Gilmelandia
22:00 FRENESI / HARÉM Alexandre Peixe
22:30 BORIMBORA / A BARCA Guig Ghetto
23:00 ALÔ INTER Psirico
23:30 OS MASCARADOS Margareth Menezes
1:00 NADANDO EM ÁGUAS A definir
1:30 AGUA DE COCO A definir
2:00 SIRI COM TODI Banda Vixie Mainha


A short video of Mark McGowan training at the Vega waste disposal site for the incredible fishing net filled with plastic attempted 4 kilometre pull at the carnival in Salvador Brazil. Mark is working with Melanie Salmon from Global Ocean who are trying to raise awareness about the catasphropic crisis of plastic ending up in the oceans of the world and killing 100,000 sea animals every year.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Mel and T putting the plastic into the fishing nets at the Vega dump.


Mel and T with Cabeza, the fisherman who got us the fishing net


Today we went and bought a fishing net from some beautiful fisherman and we are going to fill it with plastic.

Monday, 28 January 2008


jan 28 2008

i have arrived in Salvador brazil in the middle of the carnival and been looking for a fishing net, we found a wonderful fisherman and been to the local
dump to aquire an enourmous amount of plastic which i am going to drag along the route of the carnival. we are here trying to raise awarness about the levels of plastic in the oceans of the world which is killing over 100,000 sea animals every year.
more soon

Saturday, 12 January 2008


January 2008 press release


In an extra ordinary art performance artist and enviromentalist Mark McGowan is to attempt to pull an incredible 5 metre high fishing net filled to overflowing with plastic waste for 10 kilometres. The project is to take place in Brazil at Farol da Barra (lighthouse beach), in Salvador, Brazil on the 31st January 2008 and starts at 2.30pm, 2 hours before the official start of the carnival.
And to make it even more difficult McGowan will be coming out of the water pulling the net of plastic waste.
The event is to raise awareness of the catasphropic amounts of plastic waste in the oceans seas and rivers of the world and the affects it is having on sea life with 100,000 of marine mammals being killed every year.

for more info call 07828524056 or mel on

McGowan has previously pulled a red london routemaster bus using just his big toe, pushed a monkey nut along the road with his nose for 7 miles and crawled 55 miles on his hands and knees from london to Canterbury looking for love.

Thursday, 3 January 2008


The very thing that makes plastic items useful to consumers, their durability and stability, also makes them a problem in marine environments. Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

Take a walk along any beach anywhere in the world and washed ashore will be many polythene plastic bags, bottles and containers, plastic drums, expanded polystyrene packing, polyurethane foam pieces, pieces of polypropylene fishing net and discarded lengths of rope. Together with traffic cones, disposable lighters, vehicle tyres and toothbrushes, these items have been casually thrown away on land and at sea and have been carried ashore by wind and tide.

These larger items are the visible signs of a much larger problem. These big items do not degrade like natural materials. At sea and on shore under the influence of sunlight, wave action and mechanical abrasion they simply break down slowly into ever smaller particles.

A single one litre drinks bottle could break down into enough small fragments to put one on every mile of beach in the entire world. These smaller particles are joined by the small pellets of plastic which are the form in which many new plastics are marketed and which can be lost at sea by the drumload or even a whole container load. These modern day “marine tumbleweeds” have been thrown into sharp focus, not only by the huge quantities removed from beaches by dedicated volunteers, but by the fact that they have been found to accumulate in sea areas where winds and currents are weak.

The “Eastern Garbage Patch”

Click to view animation.
The North Pacific sub-tropical gyre covers a large area of the Pacific in which the water circulates clockwise in a slow spiral. Winds are light. The currents tend to force any floating material into the low energy central area of the gyre. There are few islands on which the floating material can beach. So it stays there in the gyre, in astounding quantities estimated at six kilos of plastic for every kilo of naturally occurring plankton. The equivalent of an area the size of Texas swirling slowly around like a clock. This gyre has also been dubbed “the Asian Trash Trail” the “Trash Vortex” or the “Eastern Garbage Patch”.

This perhaps wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the plastic had no ill effects. The larger items, however, are consumed by seabirds and other animals which mistake them for prey. Many seabirds and their chicks have been found dead, their stomachs filled with medium sized plastic items such as bottle tops, lighters and balloons. A turtle found dead in Hawaii had over a thousand pieces of plastic in its stomach and intestines. It has been estimated that over a million sea-birds and one hundred thousand marine mammals and sea turtles are killed each year by ingestion of plastics or entanglement.

Animals can become entangled in discarded netting and line. Even tiny jelly-fish like creatures become entangled in lengths of plastic filament, or eat the small plastic particles floating in the water.

Chemical sponge

There is a sinister twist to all this as well. The plastics can act as a sort of “chemical sponge”. They can concentrate many of the most damaging of the pollutants found in the worlds oceans: the persistent organic pollutants (POPs). So any animal eating these pieces of plastic debris will also be taking in highly toxic pollutants.

The North Pacific gyre is one of five major ocean gyres and it is possible that this Trash Vortex problem is one which is present in other oceans as well. The Sargasso Sea is a well known slow circulation area in the Atlantic, and research there has also demonstrated high concentrations of plastic particles present in the water.

Ocean hitchhikers

The floating plastics can also affect marine ecosystems in a surprising way, by providing a ready surface for organisms to live on. These plants and animals can then be transported on the plastic far outside their normal habitat. These ocean hitch-hikers can then invade new habitats to become possible nuisance species.

Of course, not all plastic floats. In fact around 70 percent of discarded plastic sinks to the bottom. In the North Sea, Dutch scientists have counted around 110 pieces of litter for every square kilometre of the seabed, a staggering 600,000 tonnes in the North Sea alone. These plastics can smother the sea bottom and kill the marine life which is found there.

The issue of plastic debris is one that needs to be urgently addressed. At the personal level we can all contribute by avoiding plastics in the things we buy and by disposing of our waste responsibly. Obviously though, there is a need to make ship owners and operators, offshore platforms and fishing boat operators more aware of the consequences of irresponsible disposal of plastic items.

Everyday objects condemn sea life to death

IT IS something most of us hardly think of as we go about our daily lives. Out of sight and out of mind, our waste is largely someone else's problem.
The popularity of recycling may have soared in recent years, but this recent awakening will do little to address the 1,000-year legacy of litter and pollution we have already left for the world's marine life.

That dropped crisp packet, discarded mineral water bottle or escaped plastic bag could be at the start of an epic journey around the world, sailing the Seven Seas for something close to eternity.

Hundreds of thousands of animals are thought to die every year as a result of marine litter, most of it plastic.

Plastic has several qualities that makes it particularly dangerous to sea life:

• it floats, so seabirds will scoop up what they think is a tasty snack, only to fill their stomachs with undigestible toothbrushes and disposable lighters, while filter feeders like basking sharks take in plastic particles, as fine as sand, along with plankton.

• it sinks, so creatures on the seabed are similarly affected - a study of Europe's continental shelf found up to 262,000 piece of plastic per sq mile, most of it plastic bottles and bags.

• in the water, plastic bags and burst balloons look like jellyfish and, when swallowed, can choke animals like whales and turtles or block their gut so they starve to death.

• it lasts for hundreds of years: it is estimated that plastic can survive at sea for between 450 and 1,000 years, but some forms may never fully degrade. Albatrosses on Hawaii have been found to have eaten plastic from Japanese fighter planes that crashed more than half a century ago.

Few people realise just how much litter there is in the sea, but sailors like Dame Ellen MacArthur see the problem at first hand.

"In the Bay of Biscay and the North Atlantic, when it is flat calm you see so much plastic debris, loads of polystyrene, fishing floats... I've hit a container in the North Atlantic," she said.

"I've been up to the north-west of Scotland and there's a lot of stuff, plastic, bits of rope and net, plastic bottle - there are so many plastic bottles.

"It's horrible, it's bad for wildlife and we don't enjoy it either. You get hugely protective of the ocean. A photographer on board chucked one of those little film cases over the side and I went nuts.

"All the sailors I've sailed with... nothing goes over the side. You do about one binbag every ten days and you store it on the boat."

On a recent visit to South Georgia, Dame Ellen travelled to an uninhabited island with conservationists to record albatross nests. Even in this remote part of the Southern Ocean, they found hooks used by long-line fishing boats - one of the main reasons 19 out of 21 albatross species are endangered.

"It's is incredibly tragic what's going on," she said. "Because the currents travel all over the world, with the sea you cannot separate it in the same way you can with a country. In the sea things can travel for thousands of miles. That is very important."

Adam Walters, a consultant at the Greenpeace research laboratory, took part in an expedition to sail to every sea on the planet and assess just how much litter they contain.

"It's only when you throw a net in the sea that you find it is covered in tiny fragments of plastic. From a ship you don't see anything," he said.

"We were using nets with a 0.3mm mesh size. Drag for a couple of miles and you find hundreds and hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic, like grains of sand."

The analysis is still being carried out, but he said 80 per cent of plastic waste in the sea originated on land, rather than being thrown overboard from boats.

"It is truly shocking. To a greater or lesser extent the entire surface of the ocean is covered in plastic and this stuff is not going to go away," he said.

"Most plastics are recyclable but we haven't got the systems in place to recycle it.

"It is unsustainable. To produce something disposable that will remain in that form for thousands of years is nonsensical."

The international extent of the problem was illustrated when 20 containers carrying bath toys were lost overboard in the Pacific in 1992.

Since then oceanographers, with tip-offs from the public, have monitored a flotilla as it successfully navigated the North-West Passage, entering the Atlantic.

A faded green frog, with the identifying "The First Years" logo, was reportedly discovered in the Hebrides in 2003.

Calum Duncan, the Scottish conservation manager for the Marine Conservation Society, emphasised the very real effect of litter on sealife.

"Globally, it is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and a million seabirds die annually because of ingesting or entanglement by marine litter," he said.

"It's another motivation for people to think about how they behave when they are at the beach or elsewhere.

"The same applies anywhere, whether you are on the beach or on land: dispose of rubbish properly. There is a real wildlife threat from not doing so."