Tackle-ing the Issue of Marine Debris at its Source

At the end of July, the Coastal Team hosted a workshop with Dr Chris Surman of Halfmoon Bioscience, at the Museum of Geraldton!

The workshop was a part of a 2-year project aiming to reduce the impact of marine debris on threatened seabirds at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.

Earlier this year we completed surveys of Lesser Noddy and Osprey nests, as well as adjacent shorelines, to remove debris and quantify the impact it is having on nesting seabirds. Along with Industry stakeholders, TAFE students and community members, we sorted the debris to qualify the data, identifying debris by type, colour, size and source where possible.

The aim of this workshop was to discuss the identified sources of the predominant marine debris found in nests and on the shoreline, and develop a collaborative source reduction strategy. Another focus area is to improve determination of the source of material found; this will require a collaborative approach of comparing samples as well as industry experience and local knowledge.

This project will see a clear reduction in the amount of plastics, ropes and other debris in Lesser Noddy and Osprey nests and increase community understanding of impacts to seabirds from marine debris.  

This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.

Alanah Campbell – Coastcare Support Officer

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