Marine debris management

Marine debris management

What is marine debris?

Marine debris is a technical term used for rubbish found in the ocean. It includes ropes, plastics, fish nets, packaging tape, bottles and other thoughtlessly discarded things. This rubbish can come from many places; including ships, fishing and recreational boats. It can come from city streets carried into the ocean from the storm-water drains (read more here).

Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board's focus is on:

Adopt a beach

In response to community concern about the amount of rubbish on local beaches, we launched the Eyre Peninsula Marine Debris Monitoring and Adopt a Beach Program in 2008. You can take the lead on adopting a beach for clean up in your area using the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

Making your clean up work count - steps to adopting a beach

  1. Contact Tangoroa Blue - you'll be able to discuss what's involved (register your beach/area of interest, define the size of clean up area, frequency etc)
  2. Download a datasheet
  3. Read the manual (or watch the film)
  4. Encourage others:
    - Education kit for teachers
    - Strive for a waste free life (factsheets)

In the past, volunteers and Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board staff surveyed beaches from Fowlers Bay to Whyalla. Now we work together to monitor long-term monitoring sites, one being at Bolingbroke. Debris is collected, sorted and recorded into six groups (read the media release).

The EP Landscape Board is also involved with microplastics monitoring sites at the Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Arno bay foreshores. For more information on microplastics monitoring, see the Ausmap website.

Long-term monitoring

Long-term monitoring sites are important to survey regularly to provide information on long-term trends.

As of 2018, all marine debris long-term monitoring data we collected has been entered directly into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI). There are also currently 14 Eyre Peninsula-based aquaculture companies from the tuna, kingfish, mussel and abalone sectors taking part in the 'adopt a beach' program. Read more about it on the Department of Primary Industries and Regions website.