Laysan albatross are experts at soaring and can travel hundreds of miles per day with barely a wingbeat. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a significant threat to their survival.

In one of the most remote places on Earth, an albatross fight is taking place. The battleground is the Midway Atoll, located more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest continent. On this small island, situated in the heart of the Pacific Ocean near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian Islands archipelago, the birds are facing a formidable foe: our plastic waste.

Today, Midway holds the largest Laysan albatross colony in the world. These magnificent and beautiful seabirds range over the entire Pacific Ocean from their home base on the island. But Seattle-photographer-turned-documentary-codirector Chris Jordan would like us to see the other side of this bird-world outpost: here, tens of thousands of albatrosses die, their bodies filled with plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Scientists estimate that approximately five tons of plastic arrive on Midway Atoll every year in the stomachs of these birds.

Watch the short video below, which is a trailer for the 2013 feature-length film Midway: Message from the Gyre. According to the Midway website, the film is both elegy and warning.

I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,


If you would like to see varieties of albatross and help in their conservation, please consider our Galapagos adventures and New Zealand ecotour.