Assist Dhimurru Aboriginal Rangers on our annual marine debris voluntour in Cape Arnhem Land.
Did you know?
- Every year an estimated 7 billion tonnes of rubbish enters the world’s oceans as marine debris
- Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic marine debris in the ocean
- Plastic litter is one of the most common types of marine debris and can take up to 1,000 years to break down
By 2050 there will be more marine debris in the worlds oceans than fish. According to a recent report, worldwide use of plastic has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years, and it is expected to double again in the next 20 years. By 2050, we’ll be making more than three times as much plastic than we did in 2014.
Our oceans are the source of life for many, including humans. The impact of these predictions is far reaching. Already marine debris causes injury and death to turtles, seabirds, sharks and many other marine species through drowning, injury through entanglement and internal injuries, or starvation following ingestion.
Where does the marine debris come from?
Eighty percent of the plastic debris comes from land. It washes out to sea from our beaches, streets and highways. It flows out through storm drains into streams and rivers. It flies away from landfills and into the stomachs of sea turtles and marine animals everywhere. Most of the debris are items we use on a daily basis. Plastic bags, bottles, balloons, degraded buoys, packaging materials, fishing nets/lines and food wrappers all contribute to the debris. While large plastics are a substantial pollutant, over time these plastics will break down into smaller, more toxic pieces.
Be part of the solution
Education is important to solving marine pollution. You can get involved in this issue by:
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle plastics
- Use reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags when shopping
- Support local, regional and nationwide bans on plastic grocery bags
- Don’t litter or if you do see litter stop, pick it u and pop it in a bin
- Volunteer at local beach clean-up events
- Make sure you properly secure your garbage to prevent any fly-away plastics
- Don’t release balloons into the air. They travel far and end up in our oceans being consumed by sea turtles and other marine life that mistake them for food.
- Join one of our voluntours and help remove marine debris in Arnhem Land, Cape York or on the Great Ocean Road
Interested in more information about Marine Debris initiatives in Australia? Tangaroa Blue are one of our key partners. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation focused on the health of our marine environment, and coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.