We are pleased to report the completion of the initial round of marine debris monitoring on Christmas Island, providing insights into the environmental challenges facing this distinct ecosystem. Our team conducted surveys at five key locations: Flying Fish Cove, Dolly Beach, Waterfall Bay, Merrial Beach, and Greta Beach.
During this first round, we collected over 75kg of debris from transects at these sites. Notably, in the Indian Ocean Territories, our transects cover only 10% of the area compared to those on the mainland, spanning 2.5m instead of 25m. This difference emphasises the significance of the collected debris, highlighting the need for comprehensive monitoring and intervention.
Top Five Items from our Monitoring Data:
- Hard plastic remnants – 7,184
- Lids, bottle caps, pump spray, flow restrictor, and similar items – 2,167
- Plastic straws, confection sticks, cups, plates, and cutlery – 1,913
- Foam insulation and packaging (whole and remnants) – 1,123
- Soft plastic film remnants – 442
These numbers provide a clear overview of the types and quantities of debris affecting Christmas Island’s marine environment.
Over the next two years, we will continue to monitor these sites to analyse debris trends and identify the sources of these items. By doing so, we hope to help implement effective strategies for mitigating the impact of marine debris on Christmas Island’s precious ecosystems.
A big thank you is extended to all the volunteers who played a crucial role in the September monitoring events. A special acknowledgment goes to Meg Powell for her efforts at Greta Beach. Meg’s dedication resulted in the discovery of 27kg of debris within a single 2.5m transect.