MEDIA RELEASE – 2nd May 2011
The 2011 South West Coast Marine Debris Cleanup saw 23 volunteers embark to the West Coast of Tasmania on four commercial fishing vessels, the biggest contingent in the cleanup's history.
In total 18,357 items were collected off six beaches totalling around 3.5 tonnes. In material terms 93% of the rubbish was plastic comprised mainly of rope, bottles and miscellaneous plastic pieces and 4.5% was metal mainly as aluminium cans. Small pieces of plastic, caps and lids continue to be found in increased numbers and these along with small pieces of rope and bait box straps accounted for over 70% of the rubbish items collected.
The team recovered a staggering 11,317 items in just five hours off 1.5 kilometre length of coast, the vast majority off a 200m long stretch of beach. This is by far the largest haul of items from any one area of the coast and it was only after a tip off from one of the volunteer Crayboat skippers that we uncovered this wilderness tip-face.
This year we finally recovered 'temples de rope' - three huge rope balls between 200-400 kg each that we had observed over the last few years. Aptly named by the crew as all we could do was look at them in awe due to their size. This trip, the balls were finally moved as we had access to more people power and a boat with a Hiab to lift them from the water.
The more unusual items found on the shore this year included a Fridge, a Boogie Board, a cold full can of beer and an assortment of toys including a still inflated party balloon. Once again there was rubbish from all corners of the globe including numerous Japanese, Chinese and Korean oil and food containers, fishing buoys and trawl nets.
A selection of the rubbish haul has been put aside and will be on display at Salamanca Market of the 7th of May 2011.
A massive thankyou to all the sponsors and volunteers as without your generous donations of time effort and money we could not continue this work.
The cleanup has now been running for over ten years and we are looking forward to another successful cleanup in 2012.