Nor-Shipping director Birgit Liodden, one of the judges, this week stressed the importance of fresh and innovative solutions for the maritime industry when she publicly lamented the fate of a rare two ton whale found beached in Norway, its digestive system later to be found fatally clogged by plastic bags.
Winner of the 2015 Award was Boyan Slat, a 22-year old Dutch diving enthusiast who had founded the Ocean Cleanup Project, she reminded, which has since grown into a multinational project aimed at cleansing the world’s ocean of an estimated 5trn-plus pieces of plastic debris.
Ocean Cleanup has already carried out the most extensive aerial and surface surveys to date of the area of the Pacific Ocean worst affected by garbage, confirming the extent of the problem.
In addition, assisted by Dutch dredging and marine experts Boskalis, ithe project has deployed a prototype skimmer boom in the North Sea on a year-long trail to see how it withstands rough seas conditions and to perfect the system design in matters such as optimum skirt depth
The Ocean Clean-up system uses a passive array of floating modular booms with attached skirts below the waterline to catch and concentrate debris washed up against them by natural ocean currents. It estimates that clean-up systems with a combined span of 100km can harvest almost half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years.
Winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award 2017 will be announced at the Nor-Shipping event taking place in Oslo from 30 May to 2 June.