Ask any seafaring local living in Far North QLD, and they will tell you that if anything goes missing in the ocean near Cairns, you will probably find it eventually washed up on the south-east facing beach of Cape Bedford.
To see the truth in this all you need to do is walk down onto the Cape Bedford beach and look in any direction, and you will see the vast amounts of marine debris that has washed up over the years, and is still washing up on a daily basis.
From the 11th to the 14th of August 2014, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, in collaboration with the Hopevale Congress Rangers and Conservation Volunteers Australia, made an effort to tackle the ever-increasing problem of rubbish in this marine debris hot spot.
Though the clean up went over 4 days, the rangers and volunteers only managed to cover 1.4km of the beach as the marine debris was so thick and embedded into the coastline. But of that 1.4km of beach, the team managed to remove a whopping 1.8 tonnes of rubbish from the area… That’s over 1 tonne per kilometre!
Amongst the debris found, items included 1285 thongs, 4151 bottle tops, 266 pieces of weather balloon foam, and even a small shipwreck!
The data collected from this event will be invaluable in addressing the issue of marine debris at Cape Bedford, and through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative will be used to create source reduction strategies to prevent rubbish from ending up in the ocean in the first place.