West Australian Beach Clean-Up Report 2015

Summary A mild winter this year meant a little less debris encountered on the beach compared to 2014. There were exceptions with hotspots being encountered in some places and debris levels remaining high in others. The Cocos Islands, Broome Town Beach and Mindarie Marina seawall were among the exceptions. Throughout the year a number of individuals and organisations have continued being involved in cleaning beaches and collecting data. Data collected throughout the year together with the snapshot of data provided during the October West Australian Beach Clean-up builds up a knowledge base about marine debris in WA. The value of ongoing clean-up activities is that it provides data and information to do something about the problem, and there is in effect a watch on WA beaches which improves the chances of early spotting and reporting of hazardous items, items presenting quarantine issues and other incidents such as the search for debris from missing flight MH370. In this report we discuss how to give some focus on where we direct our activities and what those activities can be. One way of doing this is to encourage groups to form at a local or regional level to identify achievable marine debris objectives and develop responses. We are encouraging participation from community members and organisations, business, local government and NRM bodies. Some organisations are currently at this stage and our objective is to continue to support them while also assisting new groups wanting to develop a focus to their activities. In the next section we provide a wrap up of this year’s October West Australian Beach Clean-up followed by a discussion of developing a regional focus on marine debris. Data from each NRM region is then analysed to provide a broad picture of debris types, quantities, sources and possible areas for activity. The report then provides some information on source reduction plans and concludes with an update on the watch for items from missing flight MH370.

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