Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, these beaches, vegetated zones and rocky headlands are natural collection points for marine debris. This debris is generated both domestically and overseas and while illegal to discard increasing amounts find themselves present as a point of entanglement and ingestion risk for our marine life.
Australia is a continent which flourishes on the resources pulled from the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ), the third largest in the world which spans around nine million square kilometres and reaches 200 nautical miles from the coastline.
Marine stakeholders are at the forefront of tackling the issue through clean-ups (Tide to Tip, Clean up Australia Day events), entering data on findings into the Australian Marine Debris Database, CSIRO’s database and the AUSMAP database for micro plastics and participating in source reduction plans.
Currently Oceanwatch is focusing on bait bags and light sticks on the Great Barrier Reef through a project conducted by Tangaroa Blue called Reef Clean.