Easter Hunt Success 17714 items collected off beaches in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area

Depending on your point of view this years’ trip to the remote beaches of south west Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area was either the most successful to date with a record haul of 17,714 pieces of rubbish or very disappointing as we continue to see increasing amounts of rubbish finding its way into one of the worlds most pristine wilderness areas. Either way we managed to clean a total of eight beaches thanks to the Cray fishermen, fine weather and a very happy, enthusiastic and capable crew. Thanks to Wildcare and Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania we were able to visit this area and present our findings on a daily basis to the world via the blog.

The rubbish collected was slightly different in makeup to past years. Most noticeably there was a massive increase in aluminium cans mainly due to some thirsty and careless visitors to New Harbour or ‘Beercan Bay’ on the south coast and Spain Bay in Port Davey. From these two small beaches we found a staggering 599 and 140 cans and can pieces respectively out of a total of 784 cans for all beaches. Most of these cans were clearly identifiable as produced here in Tasmania so are definitely locally derived. This year we also collected more small pieces of plastic, caps and lids than ever before. Most other collected items showed a continual trend upwards indicating we are seeing more and more rubbish making its way into our oceans.

This year we again found an array of strange items including a biohazard waste disposal container, a toy horse, heater, stainless steel shackles and a matching pair of ugg boots. Once again we found a number of clearly identifiable foreign items including numerous bottles and containers produced in Japan, China, Korea, Europe, Africa and South America. We again found two ocean current drift cards one from the 1990’s from Australia and one decidedly worn card dated 1973 from South Africa.

Thanks to Dave Wyatt of Southern Ocean Adventures and other local fishermen Kent Way, Dean Hulton, and Nick Harris for their generous donations of their boats, time and fuel. Thanks also to our main sponsors Patagonia and Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and to our other sponsors Gillespies Ginger Beer, The Wursthaus Kitchen and Cascade. Without all their support the annual clean up would not be possible.

Check out all the updated info on the Blog at: http://wha-marinedebris.blogspot.com/

* 2010 Trip Statistics and photos are available on the blog

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