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.
"Aria the Albatross and her seabird friends have a problem: They keep throwing up garbage. When she sets out on a long-distance flight across the Pacific Ocean to find out why, she meets other wildlife having trouble with trash. Monk Seal is trapped by a strapping band, Humpback Whale is hopelessly tangled in a ghost fishing net, and Sea Turtle is choking on a plastic bag he thought was a jellyfish.
Once-beautiful beaches, reefs and open oceans are littered by discarded fishing gear, disposable lighters, plastic bags and bottle caps, creating unimaginable hazards for the creatures that live there. As Aria learns, humans are both the cause - and the solution - to the ever-increasing problem of marine pollution."
Garbage Guts was inspired by Dr Heidi Auman's research on the effects of marine debris on Midway Atoll's Laysan albatross. Beautifully illustrated this book should be a staple in every school library around the world. Children are our future and we need them well armed.
Environment groups today welcomed moves by the NSW government to implement a 10cent deposit scheme on drink bottles and cans.
A report in today's Sun Herald indicates the government will be moving to finalise the design of a scheme this year.
"We welcome the commitment to a cost effective and efficient scheme. It's been a long time coming after a ten year campaign. There's no doubt that NSW will benefit environmentally, economically and socially from the massive reduction in drink container litter; over 1,000 new jobs; new investment in the recycling industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars; and a big boost to charity income," said Jeff Angel, National Convenor of the Boomerang Alliance of 32 groups.
"With the majority of the community supporting container deposits (84% in the last Newspoll), this decision will be long remembered as a pivotal moment in cleaning up our environment."
"NSW can have a world leading scheme and we are ready to assist the government in delivering it."
It's really hot up here in the tropics and we are all heading down to our nearest creek and swimming hole to cool off - we are also on the verge of our monsoon wet season starting. So if you are heading out for a swim, please make sure you take all your litter home with you - as soon as the rains start it will take all the rubbish that people have just left at these beautiful cool oasis straight to the ocean and into the Great Barrier Reef.
A huge thanks to Tangaroa Blue volunteer Suz Garrett, who spent her Saturday morning collecting 751 pieces of litter from South Mossman Creek - stopping all this junk from ending up in our ocean as soon as the rains start and all stormwater drains, creeks and rivers get their first flush of the season! The included 22 plastic drink bottles, 15 plastic shopping bags, 94 plastic food packages, 52 sanitary items (toilet paper and nappies), 28 beer bottles, 101 aluminium cans and 67 cardboard food packs.
The 2014 Australian Marine Debris Initiative Conference was held in Cairns from the 4th - 6th December. Tangaroa Blue crew members, volunteers, Indigenous Land & Sea Rangers, Government agencies and other partner organisations came together to network and review marine debris activities that had been taking place around the country during the year, and make a plan for 2015.
Partners were given the opportunity to present on the work that they are doing in relation to marine debris mitigation and how they are contributing to the bigger picture. A large part of the workshop was focused on Source Reduction Plans as a means of stopping debris from entering the marine system in the first place.