Ocean Plastic Products – are they credible or just greenwashing?

Tangaroa Blue as an organisation has been receiving lots of enquiries as to the credibility of products claiming to be made from ocean plastic.

Today, with help from the Environmental Defenders Office, we have submitted a complaint about misleading ocean plastic labelling to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

To assist consumers and AMDI partner organisations in reviewing their own understanding of this issue, we are holding a Q&A panel session with experts from the plastic industry, the Environmental Defenders Office and the NGO on Tuesday 20th December, 11:30am-12:30pm.

During this session, we will also provide a resource to guide you through creating your ACCC submission.

There are limited spots available, click here to register

Busting Ghost Nets Haunting the Great Barrier Reef

World first program that uses retrieved and repurposed satellite technology to track and remove deadly and destructive ghost nets

With giant ghost nets wreaking havoc on marine life and corals around the Great Barrier Reef, marine debris charity Tangaroa Blue Foundation has taken to the sky by partnering with international technology company Satlink to launch a world first program which uses satellite technology to tag and track ghost nets while retrieval teams are mobilised to remove them.

Satlink’s “Project ReCon” will allow for repurposing recovered echosounder buoys to track ghost nets entering the Great Barrier Reef and will be integrated into Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s ReefClean project that is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.

“With our teams looking for ways to reuse and recycle international commercial fishing echosounder buoys retrieved from beach clean-ups along the Reef, it was very much a case of who ya gonna call,” says Heidi Tait, CEO of Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

“Turns out, Satlink was the ghost net buster we needed to speak with to be
able to repurpose the buoys and divert them from landfill.”

It was a perfect match, Tangaroa Blue was the perfect partner to get Project ReCon off the ground, starting in Australia along the Great Barrier Reef early next year and then rolled out around Australia through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) network.

“By working with international commercial fishing fleet partners we can have the buoys recovered by Tangaroa Blue and their AMDI partners tested and reassigned to track ghost nets along the Reef. The technology also allows for virtual fences to be put around reefs providing notifications before nets impact critically sensitive areas,” Kathryn Gavira, Satlink’s Head of Science & Sustainability, says.

The project has been welcomed by the Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef and Labor Senator for Queensland, Senator Green: “This exciting new project by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation is a further step in the right direction to one day ensuring our waters are free from ghost nets. Well done to everyone involved.”

“Ghost nets pose a huge problem in the world’s oceans including Australia’s northern oceans and the Great Barrier Reef, where sadly we see tonnes of fish, dugongs, turtles and other marine species getting tangled up, and coral being put at risk,” says Senator Green.

As part of the program, Tangaroa Blue’s AMDI partners, which include Indigenous Rangers, tourism operators and commercial vessels, will deploy the buoys as part of their monitoring work.

“With lost or discarded ghost nets the size of football fields currently drifting unsupervised across the Great Barrier Reef, they are causing untold damage to marine life and fragile corals as they become entangled on reefs”, Tait says.

“By having the buoys distributed along the Great Barrier Reef with AMDI partners it means that if a ghost net can’t be removed due to its size and capacity of the vessel and crew who find them, a buoy can be immediately attached and the net’s movement tracked in real time by satellite until a retrieval team is mobilised.”

Implementing Project ReCon along the Reef will help reduce technological waste, reduce impacts on coastal environments and benefit the local Australian communities that find the echosounder buoys.

Photo credit: Chris Bolton Fishing

Jack Johnson Non-Profit Partner

We were incredibly excited to team up with Jack Johnson on his Meet the Moonlight Tour of Australia and New Zealand as an All At Once Non-Profit Partner.

We set up stalls at his concerts in Western Australia, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and had a great time chatting with everyone about marine debris, the importance of scientific data, how that can be used to inform policy and our source reduction plans.

A beach clean-up was also organised at Whiting Beach, near the Sydney Opera House where Jack Johnson, Ziggy Alberts and Taronga Zoo partnered with us to collect 12.5kg of debris from a small stretch of beach with over 2000 individual pieces logged into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database.

  • 604 pieces of Styrofoam
  • 430 pieces of soft plastic remnants
  • 71 plastic lids
  • 15 cotton but sticks
  • Many plastic resin pellets (nurdles)

14-Day Voyage to Clean-up Coral Sea

The team comprising of the GMY Rangers, Tangaroa Blue, Blue Planet Marine and Parks Australia staff departed for the Coral Sea aboard R.V Infamis in November. 
The purpose of the 14-day voyage was to collect, remove and analyse marine debris accumulated in the Diamond Islets and Lihou Reef within the Coral Sea Marine Park (CSMP) and assist in restoring the islands of the Park to their natural state.
The marine debris collected on the trip has now been recorded and entered into the AMDI Database and all microplastic data recorded and samples taken on the voyage has been submitted to AUSMAP for testing.
Coral Sea clean-up
The team clearly worked hard for those 14 days, as they collected 2,687kgs of marine debris! This equates to 279 bags full and 27,208 debris pieces.
The top items were:
– Hard plastic remnants (13,892)
– Plastic lids/tops (4232)
– Plastic drink bottles (1479)
– Rope and net scraps (1404)
– Rubber thongs/soles (1165)
Some more obscure items found were 4 tuna trackers, 13 eco-bricks and 3 silver canisters (which are hazardous items).
The team arrive back from their 14 day voyage
The removal of marine debris from the Coral Sea Marine Park will improve the visual environmental health of the sites visited, maintaining the Coral Sea Marine Park as a world-class natural protected place.
The data collected on this voyage will also build on the evidence base of marine debris generated in or entering the Coral Sea Marine Park and assist in identifying and monitoring future impacts to the park. Data collected on the voyage will be used to inform decisions on marine debris reduction strategies in the Coral Sea Marine Park into the future, for both Parks Australia and other stakeholders.
A huge thank you must go to the GMYPPBC, who has been a long-term partner of Tangaroa Blue and we’re very grateful for the opportunity for the GMY Ranger team to participate in this important voyage and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The voyage is a project through the Our Marine Parks Grants program receiving funding from the Australian Government and seeks to support the achievement of Australian Marine Park (AMP) objectives.

2022 WA Beach Clean-Up Removes over 5 TONNE of Marine Debris!

We want to send out a big blue THANK YOU to all the organisations, families and individuals participating in the #WABCU2022 this year. 2022 saw over 100 clean-ups, covering 145kms of coastline and waterways and removing a staggering 5032kgs of marine debris!

That’s the weight of 4 BLUE WHALES and the most successful WA Beach Clean-Up of recent years!

WABCU2022 Stats
We are so grateful to our long-term event partners, Keep Australia Beautiful WA and Tallwood Custom Built Homes for their continued sponsorship this year, we really couldn’t do it without you!
This is such a special event for our organisation, now in its 18th year, and it keeps going from strength to strength. It was wonderful to see a big increase in school participation and the Tangaroa Blue team was able to run some great flagship events as well as work alongside AMDI partners at 20% of the total clean-ups this year.
We look forward to starting work on the 2022 WA Beach Clean-Up Report to release in the New Year.