Victorian Surf Coast Report June 2011

Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society (TBOCS) is a non-profit organisation registered on the Department of Environment's Register of Environmental Organisations. In 2004 TBOCS founded the South West Marine Debris Project (SWMDP) to focus on the issue of marine debris in the south west region of Western Australia. The aim of the project is to find ways of reducing the amount of marine debris making its way into our oceans and impacting marine life. In 2010 TBOCS launched the Victorian Marine Debris Project with the support of Surfrider Foundation Australia and with funding from a Caring for our Country Grant. The aim of the project was to remove debris, identify those items impacting the Victorian coastline, contributing to the National Marine Debris Database and engage communities into a national marine debris project. Over 5,000 TBOCS volunteers have collected more than 650,000 items of rubbish from beaches around Australia and New Zealand since 2004. In its seventh year of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, data on what is making up the debris and where it is coming from is helping to create strategies to reduce the amount of rubbish in local waters. In every square mile of ocean it is estimated that there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic, resulting in the deaths of more than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals every year. This includes 20 Australian endangered animals, including sharks, turtles and marine mammals. Impacts of marine debris on wildlife include entanglement that can cause restricted mobility, drowning, starvation, smothering and wounding, which in turn leads to infections, amputation of limbs and death. Debris may also be confused with prey species and ingested by marine wildlife, causing physical blockage in the digestive system and leading to internal injuries and starvation.

Download Preview