Friday, October 30, 2015

Jess Leitmanis the Rope Magician

Jess was the lucky recipient of the 2015 crowd funding place on the cleanup.  Jess is a small plastic master and as you can see from the photos above a very talented plastic rope weaver.  She has been offered a return spot on the 2016 edition. Check out more of her fantastic work on

Tassie marine debris cleanup nets national environment award

The Tasmanian Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup has received a national award for its outstanding work removing rubbish from remote World Heritage beaches in the state’s southwest.

Cleanup coordinator Matt Dell travelled to Perth on Tuesday night to accept the Environment Award on behalf of himself, cray fisherman Dave Wyatt and expedition volunteers at the Australian Seafood Industry’s annual National Conference.  

“Marine debris is poisoning our ecosystems from the ground up. With total global plastic production doubling every ten years, this issue is not going away anytime soon,” said Mr Dell.

“We have collected, counted and sorted nearly half a million items from within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area over the past 15 years. This year alone, we removed over 79,000 pieces of rubbish from Australia’s most wild, spectacular and remote beaches.

“We continue to work with the Tasmanian Fisheries Industry Council, the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Association and the Tasmanian Abalone Council to identify and minimise the potential waste sources within the Tasmanian fishing industry and remove them from the production cycle.

“We can all do our bit in tackling this globally critical issue. We need to stop the rubbish getting into the ocean in the first place. Here in Tasmania, the Government needs to show they’re serious about protecting our World Heritage Area. They must take urgent action and introduce long-overdue container deposit legislation” concluded Mr Dell.

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Photos

Click the Image above to view the album

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Recherche Bay - Hobart

Wow! What a week of beach combing on the wild beaches.  We experienced all that the rugged South West of Tasmania has to offer. Wild winds, waves, sunshine and rain and a cracking aurora to finish off on the last night.

79084 items of Marine Debris was collected in all, each one picked up off the beach, documented and then repatriated back to 'civilization'. A big thanks to al the Sponsors and boat skippers without which this cleanup could not continue, and to the group of dedicated volunteers who spent many painstaking hours bending down on the beaches picking up the rubbish and then several hours bending down again each evening counting the days collection on a rocking and rolling boat.

The hard work we have put in over the last 15 years seems to be paying off with noticeably less large rubbish on the beaches that we regularly survey.

PLEASE, if you see rubbish on the street, field, beach, stream or path, pick it up and put it in the appropriate bin. Otherwise there is a good chance it will blow or wash into the ocean and it too will float around the globe before polluting a shoreline or maiming wildlife.

Bramble Cove - Mutton Bird Island - Recherche Bay

An early morning steam to Muttonbird Island, it was an overcast and damp start through a kelp field that landed us on one of the more spectacular beaches of the South West WHA. Last year we spent a full day on this beach and collected a huge amount so we were intrigued to see how it was this time around.  Recent rain as we have learned keep the surface plastic covered, you need to dig to find it. And as always at first glance it looked pretty clean, 3 hours and 22 bags of rubbish later it was clear it wasn't.
Finally the Dellagator gave us the word we could stop, so off to the dinghies we went.  The pickups from the beach weren't easy so we went to the rocky point, we were already soaked by rain then got soaked by the sea, Masaaki had the right idea, a wetsuit, the rubbish ninja!

With a fresh NW breeze we pulled the anchors and headed towards South West Cape, en route to Recherche Bay.  The Diamantina crew did the final count on the way and we were very surprised by the total of a day which felt a casual stroll in comparison to the Duckholes, 10644 pieces of rubbish, an almost exclusive club of rope and plastic pieces.  An interesting and satisfying result of our annual efforts is seeing massive improvement on beaches we visited the previous year, however if left a couple of years then the buildup can be extreme.  We are making a difference to a special part of our world, and hope we can inspire others to take care of their part of our world. Theres a couple of bags still to be counted from the the Odalisque crew on the way down but the total stands at 79084 pieces of rubbish, this is another record haul from the team, many happy faces.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Green Island - Bramble Cove

A afternoon steam up from yesterdays clean-up site at Low Rocky allowed
the surfers to have a awesome sunset session near our Green Island
anchorage. The talk of the rubbish count that night was all about the
volume of rubbish we'd discover the next day, in a foul pit of
decomposing kelp soup. Green Island Main & Duckhole lived up to these
descriptions today. A record haul of 37,438 pieces of manmade rubbish
was carefully picked out of kelp on one beach, and rocks on the second.
Long ropes were extracted from elbow deep rotting kelp. The
back-breaking hours hunched over, collecting thousands of small peices
of rope and plastic, were repeated on the boat decks, sorting and
counting every rubbish category. Hats off to all the crew, for pushing
through when at times you wonder why? The job satisfaction of beaches
transformed to their natural glory in a few gruelling hours is the
motivation. Longterm volunteers also inspire us when they tell how much
healthier the previously-cleaned beaches are now looking, after years of
rubbish hauling efforts. An honour to be part of such an awesome
effort today, the BushPigs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 6 Elliot Bay - Green Island

After a late nights count everyone slept soundly, rocking around on a
rolly anchorage. We awoke to view the fully amazing scenery we had
rocked up to during the previous evenings darkness and prepped up to hit
the beaches. Being four years since we had last cleaned Elliot Bay at
Low Rocky Point, we were expecting a record haul, but recent rains left
the beach sand concealing many plasticky mysteries. Whilst Spikey
amassed a large rubber collection, bait straps, beer cans and small
plastics piled in up in quantity in each of our bags. Ness and Claire
individually handpicked grains of polystyrene, all the while imagining
how enjoyable it would be counting each of them again during the
evening's tally! We finished up on the beaches round 3:30 and steamed
south, having completed our clean of the northernmost beach in our
survey area. The evenings count had a technical difficulty rating of
about 6/10, broken into shifts among each of the different boat crews,
and we managed to count through a hefty 4567 pieces.