18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.
633 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.
Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, one of the major environmental issues worldwide. But if all we do is clean-up, that is all we will ever do.
To successfully solve the problem, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) was created, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities and organisations that contribute data from rubbish collected during beach and river clean-up events to the AMDI Database, and then work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. The AMDI helps communities look after their coastal environment by providing resources and support programs, and collaborates with industry and government to create change on a large scale.
In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean. 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..." When, after a week-long clean-up event, the whales and dolphins come close to our beach and slap their flippers, we sometimes wonder if it is Tangaroa saying "thank you".
From the Change.org website:
The Project has teamed up with Clean Up Australia to call on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and WA Premier Mark McGowan to #BanTheBag. These three great Australians could see single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags banned across Australia, thanks to existing bans in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, the ACT, and an impending ban in Queensland. Support for existing bans is overwhelming. In South Australia, 81% of the consumers strongly support the ban. As do 73% of Territorians, and 70% of Australians living in the ACT.
Sign this petition and help show our politicians we want to #banthebag for good!
With the support of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority through Reef Trust, Tangaroa Blue has been working behind the scenes to update the Australian Marine Debris Database, and will be bringing the new version online soon!
The new version will be going live in late April or May. We will notify you of the exact date closer to the time. You will need to register as a new user when you first access the new version of the AMDI Database. Below are some of the changes and some suggestions on preparing to use the new version.
Report by Patricia Swallow, Tangaroa Blue volunteer.
Known as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is a lush, tropical paradise, famous for its red crabs, Golden Bosun and Red Footed Booby birds, as well as its amazing marine life.
Turtles nest on some of the Island’s beaches and once a year tiny hatchlings emerge from the sand to make their way to the safety of the nearby ocean. Sadly, their path is often blocked by what is to them, an insurmountable mound of marine debris.
It was a story that Heidi Taylor and Matt of Tangaroa Blue Foundation felt compelled to investigate and, with assistance from Sam from Keep Australia Beautiful WA and a couple of keen volunteers, a trip to Christmas Island was planned.
Local volunteers eagerly joined Tangaroa Blue and Keep Australia Beautiful one Sunday in late March for a beach clean-up at Isabel Beach on the first day of the trip. Everyone got stuck in and a huge amount of marine debris was collected, amounting to over 220 kg of rubbish from just 55 m of beach! The usual hoard of plastic bottles (836), thongs (488) and polystyrene foam (2920) was among the marine data recorded and bagged-up ready for the local council to dispose of.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation provided information to both the Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy and the Australian Border Force (ABF) after hundreds of Vietnamese water bottles were documented during the 2016 Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) events in Cape York.
As part of Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI), volunteers not only record how many of each item has been found during beach/river clean-ups, but also any brand and barcode information that might be on the item to help track it back to the source.
Heidi Taylor, Managing Director of Tangaroa Blue Foundation said, 'We have been working with local communities, volunteers, Indigenous Rangers and AMDI partners on large scale, remote beach clean-up events in Cape York since 2011, so we have pretty comprehensive database on what regularly washes up along this section of coast. We were able to quickly identify several Vietnamese water bottle brands that we had never seen before, that were washing up in large numbers, and were very new, with expiry dates of 2017 on the labels. This indicated to us a source that was close by, and that these bottles had definitely not floated from Vietnam'.