18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.
276 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation focused on the health of our marine environment, and coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities, organisations and agencies around the country monitoring the impacts of marine debris along their stretch of coastline.
In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is one of the great gods, the god of the ocean. He is the son of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, Sky and Earth. Tangaroa is the father of many sea creatures and his breaths are the tides. Tangaroa made laws to protect the ocean and its sea creatures "Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki"... If you look after me, then I will look after you..."
The organisation was named Tangaroa Blue Foundation to highlight the importance of protecting our oceans and creating programs and resources to help communities look after their local coastal environment.
The ocean and all that live in it are much better off thanks to the removal of over 1.3 tonne of rope earlier this month from a beach near Yallingup. The rope, a discarded commercial fishing longline, washed ashore last October during big storms and ended up on a section of rocky coastline between Canal Rocks and Wyadup.
For the third year running Tangaroa Blue Foundation volunteers, have been joined by a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Lockhart River State School students and teachers, and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers for a clean-up along iconic Chilli Beach, in remote Cape York.
This 6.7km section of coastline in the Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park is for the moment marine debris free, with over 3.4 tonnes of mainly plastic pollution being removed by volunteers over the 5 day event.
The Great Barrier Reef Photo and Video competition for the 2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival is now open for entries with a massive prize pool worth over $70,000.
This year we have a new video category and will be raising money for local marine charities: the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation, the Minke Whale Project and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.
The competition is running over the next three months leading up to the festival, with entries for the film competition closing on the 12th July, whilst the photo competition closes on the 23rd July. Festival organisers are now calling on local underwater photographers and filmmakers to get their entries ready.