21.1 C
Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Stop trashing the coastline, says CSIRO

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Is hydrogen part of a sustainable energy future?

There’s a lot to like about hydrogen. For starters, it’s abundant. Hydrogen can store excess renewable power. When liquified, it’s more energy intense than fossil alternatives. In a fuel cell, it can generate electricity. When it’s burned, the only by-product is water.

The legal smoke

Paul Rea, Coorabell While Labor stopped taking donations from the tobacco industry in 2004 and the Liberals followed suit a...

Greater Sydney under COVID related restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Co-op meeting

Annette Snow, Myocum As a Mullumbimby Rural Co-op shareholder of 42 years and a past employee of over 13 years,...

Rous Chair Keith Williams looks ahead

Since the Dunoon Dam was shelved, Rous County Council has put a new draft of the Future Water Project...

Mayor’s parting gift 

Michele Grant, Ocean Shores The Mayor’s parting gift to the Bruns/Bayside Community was ushering through approval for the controversial Corso...

Plastic bags are a danger to marine wildlife and should be banned, activists say. (file pic)
Plastic bags are a danger to marine wildlife and should be banned, activists say. (file pic)

CSIRO’s marine debris team are calling on Australians to do the right thing with their rubbish, with new research highlighting the nation’s ocean and coastal pollution issues.

The research, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, showed the coastline from Brisbane to Melbourne, western coast of Tasmania and the southern part of Western Australia to be the worst hot spots.

‘More than eight million tonnes of rubbish finds its way into the worlds’ oceans each year,’ CSIRO principal research scientist Chris Wilcox said. ‘While about one million tonnes is out floating in the ocean, the rest ends up on the shore.

‘Apart from looking ugly, it causes significant harm to wildlife with about half of all seabirds and 30 per cent of sea turtles found to have eaten plastic. We think turtles eat plastic bags because they look like jellyfish in the water and with seabirds it’s the smell of plastic which takes on a krill-like smell in the water.’

The research showed that while marine debris was a global issue, a significant amount of the litter found in a region had originated from the local area.

‘Our research shows that in most cases, communities are being affected by their own rubbish, not the big rubbish gyre out in the middle of the ocean or rubbish from a neighbouring country,’ Dr Wilcox said. ‘This means that we are the cause but also the solution.

‘While up to 40 per cent of litter found during clean-up activities are beverage containers, things like discarded fishing equipment are also common culprits. Our new research shows this is the case in western Tasmania with a large amount of the debris found to have been coming from fishing.’

More than 600 marine species have been found eating plastic. As many as 15,000 turtles are caught in dumped fishing gear in northern Australia every year, and 8.4 million tonnes of rubbish lands in the world’s oceans each year.

The Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment paper can be accessed at bit.ly/mdebris. The Ballina-based seabird and turtle rescue group is at seabirdrescue.org.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.