11 volunteers from the local commercial fishing industry, OceanWatch Australia, Burnett Mary Regional Group and Sustainabundy filled two skip bins of rubbish collected from the shores of the Burnett River, in just 2 hours on Friday 26th June 2009. The clean-up was an initiative of local commercial fishers and OceanWatch Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation that works to promote sustainability in the Australian seafood industry.
Rubbish collected from 1.5 kilometres of the northern rock training wall included five sheets of iron, three old crab pots, six large pieces of carpet, a tow bar, several lonely thongs, and about 30 bags of litter. The assortment of litter consisted mainly of beer bottles, aluminium cans, paper, plastic bottles, rope, fishing twine, and bait bags, and filled 2 skip bins. Photo: Michelle Haase at one of the three rubbish pick up points.
OceanWatch Project Manager Michelle Haase says, “Volunteers were shocked by the amount of rubbish that accumulates on the rock wall and on Barubbra Island. Evidence of camping and littering is everywhere which is disappointing as this section of the Burnett River is highly valuable in terms of its benefits to fish and wildlife habitat.”
Commercial fishers have undertaken clean-ups in the Burnett River before and are well placed to observe influxes of rubbish in the river and estuaries throughout the year. Fishers unfortunately have to deal with the impacts of debris, such as sheets of iron or discarded crab pots, which can tear nets and pose a navigational hazard.
Rubbish clean-ups in priority fish habitat areas are planned for Coonarr Creek, Theodolite Creek, Beaver Rocks (Maryborough) and Eli Creek in Hervey Bay over the coming months.
“The Burnett Mary Regional Group is pleased to support OceanWatch in its efforts to promote sustainable fisheries in the Burnett Mary region and congratulates all the participants for their efforts last week. Sadly, litter and illegal dumping have impacted on many of our fish habitat areas and it’s great to see fishers taking a lead in restoring this important habitat,” said David Brown, CEO of the BMRG.
Residents interested in becoming involved in future clean ups should register their interest in lending a hand by contacting OceanWatch Project Manager Michelle Haase on 0401 890 069.
Upcoming Events: Sunday 12th July
Help OceanWatch Australia and Fraser Coast 4WD Club to clean-up rubbish in the Mary River. Sunday 12th July at 7.30am at the Beaver Rocks Boat Ramp, Beaver Rocks Road, Maryborough Gloves and clean up equipment provided. Volunteers must wear enclosed shoes and hats.
- Contact Officer: Michelle – 0401 890 069
- BBQ breakfast for workers and families
- Please RSVP to Michelle for catering
Upcoming Events: 9th August
Eli Creek Clean Up at Hervey Bay.